Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 260

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)


ISSN: 1450-2267
Volume 5, Number 4
February, 2008
John Mylonakis, Hellenic Open University (Tutor)

Editorial Advisory Board

Leo V. Ryan, DePaul University
Richard J. Hunter, Seton Hall University
Said Elnashaie, Auburn University
Subrata Chowdhury, University of Rhode Island
Teresa Smith, University of South Carolina
Neil Reid, University of Toledo
Mete Feridun, Cyprus International University
Jwyang Jiawen Yang, The George Washington University
Bansi Sawhney, University of Baltimore
Hector Lozada, Seton Hall University
Jean-Luc Grosso, University of South Carolina
Ali Argun Karacabey, Ankara University
Felix Ayadi, Texas Southern University
Bansi Sawhney, University of Baltimore
David Wang, Hsuan Chuang University
Cornelis A. Los, Kazakh-British Technical University
Jatin Pancholi, Middlesex University
Teresa Smith, University of South Carolina
Ranjit Biswas, Philadelphia University
Chiaku Chukwuogor-Ndu, Eastern Connecticut State University
John Mylonakis, Hellenic Open University (Tutor)
M. Femi Ayadi, University of Houston-Clear Lake
Wassim Shahin, Lebanese American University
Katerina Lyroudi, University of Macedonia
Emmanuel Anoruo, Coppin State University
H. Young Baek, Nova Southeastern University
Jean-Luc Grosso, University of South Carolina
Yen Mei Lee, Chinese Culture University
Richard Omotoye, Virginia State University
Mahdi Hadi, Kuwait University
Maria Elena Garcia-Ruiz, University of Cantabria
Zulkarnain Muhamad Sori, University Putra Malaysia

Indexing / Abstracting
European Journal of Social Sciences is indexed in Scopus, Elsevier Bibliographic Databases,
EMBASE, Ulrich, DOAJ, Cabell, Compendex, GEOBASE, and Mosby.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Aims and Scope

The European Journal of Social Sciences is a quarterly, peer-reviewed international research journal
that addresses both applied and theoretical issues. The scope of the journal encompasses research
articles, original research reports, reviews, short communications and scientific commentaries in the
fields of social sciences. The journal adopts a broad-ranging view of social studies, charting new
questions and new research, and mapping the transformation of social studies in the years to come. The
journal is interdisciplinary bringing together articles from a textual, philosophical, and social scientific
background, as well as from cultural studies. It engages in critical discussions concerning gender, class,
sexual preference, ethnicity and other macro or micro sites of political struggle. Other major topics of
emphasis are Anthropology, Business and Management, Economics, Education, Environmental
Sciences, European Studies, Geography, Government Policy, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology,
Social Welfare, Sociology, Statistics, Women's Studies. However, research in all social science fields
are welcome.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)


Editorial Policies:

1) The journal realizes the meaning of fast publication to researchers, particularly to those working in
competitive & dynamic fields. Hence, it offers an exceptionally fast publication schedule including
prompt peer-review by the experts in the field and immediate publication upon acceptance. It is the
major editorial policy to review the submitted articles as fast as possible and promptly include them in
the forthcoming issues should they pass the evaluation process.
2) All research and reviews published in the journal have been fully peer-reviewed by two, and in some
cases, three internal or external reviewers. Unless they are out of scope for the journal, or are of an
unacceptably low standard of presentation, submitted articles will be sent to peer reviewers. They will
generally be reviewed by two experts with the aim of reaching a first decision within a two-month
period. Suggested reviewers will be considered alongside potential reviewers identified by their
publication record or recommended by Editorial Board members. Reviewers are asked whether the
manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, how interesting it is and whether the quality of the
writing is acceptable. Where possible, the final decision is made on the basis that the peer reviewers are
in accordance with one another, or that at least there is no strong dissenting view.
3) In cases where there is strong disagreement either among peer reviewers or between the authors and
peer reviewers, advice is sought from a member of the journal's Editorial Board. The journal allows a
maximum of three revisions of any manuscripts. The ultimate responsibility for any decision lies with
the Editor-in-Chief. Reviewers are also asked to indicate which articles they consider to be especially
interesting or significant. These articles may be given greater prominence and greater external
4) Any manuscript submitted to the journals must not already have been published in another journal or
be under consideration by any other journal, although it may have been deposited on a preprint server.
Manuscripts that are derived from papers presented at conferences can be submitted even if they have
been published as part of the conference proceedings in a peer reviewed journal. Authors are required
to ensure that no material submitted as part of a manuscript infringes existing copyrights, or the rights
of a third party. Contributing authors retain copyright to their work.
5) Manuscripts must be submitted by one of the authors of the manuscript, and should not be submitted
by anyone on their behalf. The submitting author takes responsibility for the article during submission
and peer review. To facilitate rapid publication and to minimize administrative costs, the journal
accepts only online submissions through imylonakis@vodafone.net.gr. E-mails should clearly state the
name of the article as well as full names and e-mail addresses of all the contributing authors.
6) The journal makes all published original research immediately accessible through
www.EuroJournals.com without subscription charges or registration barriers. Through its open access
policy, the Journal is committed permanently to maintaining this policy. All research published in the.
Journal is fully peer reviewed. This process is streamlined thanks to a user-friendly, web-based system
for submission and for referees to view manuscripts and return their reviews. The journal does not have
page charges, color figure charges or submission fees. However, there is an article-processing and
publication charge.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

All papers are subjected to a blind peer-review process. Manuscripts are invited from academicians,
research students, and scientists for publication consideration. The journal welcomes submissions in all
areas related to science. Each manuscript must include a 200 word abstract. Authors should list their
contact information on a separate paper. Electronic submissions are acceptable. The journal publishes
both applied and conceptual research. Articles for consideration are to be directed to the editor through
ejss@eurojournals.com. In the subject line of your e-mail please write “EJSS submission”.
Further information is available at: http://www.eurojournals.com/finance.htm
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

European Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 5, Number 4
February, 2008


Business Undergraduate Personality Temperaments, Student

Electronic Activity and Selected Demographic Characteristics on
Course Achievement in an On-line University Learning Environment .............................................. 8-20
Teresa A. Le Sage, Sandy S. Venneman, Barba A. Patton and Daniel E. Hallock

Exploring Mentoring as a Tool for Career Advancement of Academics in

Private Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia............................................................................ 21-29
Lawrence Arokiasamy and Maimunah Ismail

Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Intercultural Marriage: A

Study of a Multi-Ethnic Community in Malaysia ............................................................................. 30-44
Tan Jo-Pei, Rozumah Baharuddin, Rumaya Juhari, and Steven Eric Krauss

Conscience and Social Acceptability among the Ibani in Niger Delta, Nigeria................................ 45-49
Jones M. Jaja

Cultural Dynamics and Globalization in Multi-Ethnic Nigeria......................................................... 50-54

Jones M. Jaja

Interdisciplinary Methods for the Writing of African History: A Reappraisal ................................. 55-65
Jones M. Jaja

Nigerian Women, Maternal Politics and Political Participation: A Historical Overview ................. 66-72
Jones M. Jaja and Edna A. Brown

Women and Community Development: Opobo and Elele – Alimini Examples in

Rivers State, Nigeria.......................................................................................................................... 73-79
Jones M. Jaja and Joy Agumagu

Promoting Civic Training among Primary School Pupils Through the

“School Civics Clubs”: The Botswana Experience ........................................................................... 80-90
Josiah. O. Ajiboye

Food Demand among HIV Households in North Central, Nigeria ................................................... 91-98
Okoruwa V. O, Onwurah B. C and Saka J. O

Rural Poverty and Farming Households’ Livelihood Strategies in the

Drier Savanna Zone of Nigeria........................................................................................................ 99-110
A.O. Adejobi, V.O. Okoruwa, J.K. Olayemi, T. Alimi and P.M. Kormawa
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Career Plateau: Constructs, Consequences and Coping Strategies ............................................... 111-120

Maimunah Ismail

Effective Time Managemement for Teaching Effectiveness ........................................................ 121-131

Adams O. U. Onuka, Virgy Onyene and I. Olanrewaju Junaid

Effects of Professional and Non-Professional Teachers on Students’ Achievement in

English Language .......................................................................................................................... 132-135
Foluso O. Okebukola

Inservice Mathematics Teachers’ Beliefs about Mathematics Teaching and Learning ................ 136-140
M. K. Akinsola

Dimensions of Hospital Service Quality in Nigeria ...................................................................... 141-159

O.V. Mejabi and J.O. Olujide

Gender Differences in Resources Allocation among Rural Households in

Nigeria: Implication for Food Security and Living Standard........................................................ 160-172
Babatunde. R.O, Omotesho. O.A, Olorunsanya. E.O and Owotoki. G.M

Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Income on Dietary Calorie Intake in Nigeria ...................... 173-180
Babatunde. R. O

Solidarity-Based Economy in Spain: A Corporate Social Responsibility Perspective ................. 181-193

José Luis. Retolaza, Maite. Ruiz and Ph. D. Leire. San Jose

Spatial Durbin Model for Poverty Mapping and Analysis ............................................................ 194-204
Atinuke Adebanji, Thomas Achia, Richard Ngetich, John Owino and Anne Wangombe

Health Equity and the Monetization of Workers Health Benefits in Nigeria................................ 205-213
M.A.Y. Rahji and F.R. Rahji

Mobility of Holes in Cu2o Solar Cell ............................................................................................ 214-221

M.Y Onimisi and A.O Musa

Politics in University Governance in Nigeria at the Onset of the 21st Century............................. 222-233
Joel B. Babalola and Ben. O. Emunemu

Rice Production Response to Policy Initiatives in Nigeria: An

Application of the Growth Decomposition Model ........................................................................ 234-242
Rahji. M.A.Y, Ilemobayo. O.O and Fakayode. S. B

Impact of Selected HR Practices on Perceived Employee Performance, a Study of

Public Sector Employees in Pakistan ............................................................................................ 243-252
Sajid Bashir and Hamid Rafique Khattak

The Effect of Misinterpretation on Trading Volume in an Informational Efficient Market ......... 253-260
Ishola Rufus Akintoye and Taiwo Asaolu
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Business Undergraduate Personality Temperaments, Student

Electronic Activity and Selected Demographic
Characteristics on Course Achievement in an
On-line University Learning Environment

Teresa A. Le Sage
Assistant Professor, Science Education and Curriculum and Instruction
Coordinator, Center Academic Excellence
School of Education and Human Development, University of Houston-Victoria
E-mail: lesaget@uhv.edu

Sandy S. Venneman
Associate Professor of Psychology and Biology
School of Arts and Sciences, University of Houston-Victoria
E-mail: vennemans@uhv.edu

Barba A. Patton
Chair of Initial Certification & Assistant Professor
Coordinator, Master Math Teacher Certification Program
School of Education and Human Development, University of Houston-Victoria
E-mail: pattonb@uhv.edu

Daniel E. Hallock
Chair and Professor, Management and Marketing
School of Business, University of North Alabama
E-mail: dehallock@una.edu

The demand for online courses is expanding. In 2005, about 3.2 million (70.2%) students in
the United States took at least one online course, an increase of 39 % from 2004.
Worldwide, nearly 19 % of the population has been internet penetrated. Higher education
institutions offer web-based courses without investigating if students are successful in this
environment. The major purpose of this study was to examine the effects and interactions
of undergraduate business students’ personality learning style and electronic activity on
course achievement in an electronic university environment. The secondary purpose of this
research was to explore the relationship of gender, age, and ethnicity with personality
learning style. Subjects were 106 undergraduates in six business web-based courses.
Factorial analysis of variance was utilized to determine significant main effects and/or
interactions of personality learning style, electronic activity, and achievement. ANOVA
resulted with no significant main effects or interactions. Independent factors estimated
marginal grade means of personality learning style and electronic activity on course
achievement did show interaction, although not significant. Significant relationships
(Pearson Chi-Square) resulted between personality learning style and ethnicity, and
personality learning style and age group. No significant relationship was associated with
personality learning style and gender.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Keywords: Learning styles, Personality preferences, Online courses, Higher education

Delivering higher education electronically through web-based courses raises concerns for many faculty
and administrators. Educators question if college students can learn as well in an electronic
environment as they can in the traditional classroom. Addressing preferred learning styles of students
in the world of online learning has not been investigated thoroughly (Whiteley, 2007), but fortunately
there a growing body of research on personality type and the aspects of online learning. The online
learning environment is more complex than the basic physical face-to-face learning environment, but it
does not change the fundamental process of human learning and is a new space for teaching and
learning (Ellis, 2006 as cited from Alexander & Boud, 2001). Integration between information and
telecommunication technologies is promoting greater accessible learning environments, which has
produced a demand for a web-based education (Musa & Wood, 2003).
Students participating in web-based courses have different cognitive learning styles and
individual differences, which this investigation explores. The major purpose of this study was to
examine the effects and interactions of undergraduate business students’ personality learning style
preferences and electronic activity on course achievement in an electronic university learning
environment. The secondary purpose of this research was to explore the relationship of gender, age,
and ethnicity with personality learning style preferences.
It is important to investigate student learning styles since, there has been an explosion in the
utilization of electronic media since the internet became commercially available over ten years ago
with 71% of the adults in the United States now accessing the world-wide-web (Pew Research Center,
2007). Seventy percent of these individuals have high speed internet. China had approximately
162,000,000 households accessing the internet during 2007, which comprised 12.3 % of the population
compared to 1.7 % during 2000 (Internet World Stats, 2007 & Pew Research Center, 2007). The
European Union’s Internet usage penetration comprised about 56.6 % of the population, with the
United Kingdom bearing 62.3 % of its population utilizing the internet (Internet World Stats, 2007).
Although, some educators have been slower to embrace the technology as an integral part of
their educational delivery, web-based education is now worldwide. A few institutions have even
abandoned their online spinoffs like rotten fish (Foster & Carnevale, 2007) while others have embraced
the delivery of online higher education products. As a result, most web-based college courses are still
in their infancy development stage, having been in existence five years or less. As institutions race to
catch up, they are competing against one another not only for enrollments, but also to maintain the
leading edge in course delivery. More than 1,100 colleges and universities in the United States were
offering web-based courses a few years ago (Newman & Scurry, 2001) and the numbers are rising to
over 2000 (Allen & Seaman, 2006). Distance education is continuing to grow; About 3.2 million
students took at least one online course during the fall of 2005, which was an increase of 39 % from
the previous year (Allen & Seaman, 2006; Carnevale, 2005; Foster & Carnevale, 2007). Many colleges
and universities have adopted web-based instruction without investigating the pedagogy necessary to
be successful in the endeavor. Experts expect electronic learning to transform the way learning occurs
in most, if not all, college classrooms (Allen & Seaman 2006; Carnevale, D. 2005; Newman & Scurry,
2001), thus it is very important to understand how are virtual students learn and the
differences/similarities between them on achievement. Learning style theory suggests that individuals
have different ways of learning, and when teaching accommodates these cognitive preferences, student
achievement is greater (Sonnenwald & Li 2003; Whitely, 2007).

Literature Review
Over the past 20 years, researchers have made significant progress in understanding human cognitive
styles and personality. A recent, growing area of investigation has focused on and personality learning
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

styles preferences of students. Personality preferences are a combination of inherited disposition and
environmental shaping (Keirsey & Bates, 1998). Research has shown that personality learning styles
preferences are both socially and culturally correlated (Sternberg, 1997), which indicates a framework
open to some adaption. Environmental factors include a cultural component with different cultures
expressing different percentages of basic personality styles, and a rearing component that indicates
personality styles are dramatically shaped at a very early age (Ouellette, 2001). Ethnicity, age, and
gender have all been shown to impact personality and learning preferences in some studies, while
others show no relationship (Gordon, 1996; Lu,Yu, & Liu, 2001; Shuler, 1999; Soucy 1996).
The nature of personality learning style preferences and how people learn are factors, which
make adaptation a possibility. Dewey (1973) and Vygotsky, (Kozulin, 1990) both noted that what
people experience is directly related to how people learn. It is through experience that students adapt to
new learning stimuli in the environment, and gradually adjust as they recognize what is necessary for
success. Many common examples of such adaptations in learning are readily in our culture, such
adaptation to the utilization of video cameras, personal computers, and cell phones as they were
introduced to society.
Basic differences in an individual’s personality are the way people prefer to use their minds
(Myers & Myers, 1980). Individual personality learning preferences, however, typically refer to a
singular capability or preference that may enhance learning in some situations yet hinder it in others.
Many learning preference theories are based upon extensive research examining personality
types that reflect a person’s orientation either toward the inner world (introversion) or toward the
external reality (extraversion). One of the most well known theories was developed by Carl Jung who
proposed that personality is composed of three major dimensions: introversion versus extraversion,
thinking versus feeling, and sensation versus intuition (Cloninger, 1996).
The fundamental attitude of the individual, according to Jung, is the inclination toward
introversion or extraversion. Combining this fundamental attitude with the functions of thinking,
feeling, sensation, and intuition, eight psychological types emerged. It is the differences in these
psychological-types expressed by individuals as temperaments and characteristics that contribute to
individual uniqueness.
Research on college student personality preferences and learning has shown that students
majoring in different disciplines have different preferences, which have affected academic achievement
(Melear, 1989; Raiszadeh 1997; Shuler, 1999; Skauge, 1999; Soucy, 1996; & Tribble, 1998). Some
personality preferences are predominant in science and mathematics. For example, it has been found
that students majoring in science are likely to be intuitive and introverted (Raiszadeh, 1997 & Skage,
1999). Melear (1989) found significant differences between biology and non-biology majors as well.
Personality preferences are also related to mode of course delivery. According to Tribble
(1998), students enrolled in nontraditional education programs expressed an extraversion preference
over the introversion preference.
Although we have long been aware that students learn differently from each other, we
traditionally use one teaching method at colleges and universities, the lecture (Newman & Scurry,
2001). Students approach their work differently, depending on their psychological type (Cloninger,
1996). Effectiveness of student learning depends largely on the strategy employed by the individual.
Students often fail to choose the strategies that are most effective for their own learning and often do
not match a particular strategy to the learning task (McKeachie, 1994).
When a student's preference does not match an instructional method, they are at a disadvantage.
Researchers have determined that when student and faculty learning preferences do match, the
classroom experience yields enhanced learning (Dinham, 1996; Eble, 1988). Also, student achievement
can be influenced by the personality preference of both the teacher and student (Elias & Steward 1991;
Mark, Michael, & Levas 2003; Wicklein & Rojewksi, 1995). In addition, preferences need to match
the environmental setting (Sternberg, 1997), where environment the layout and design of the virtual

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

space may be important (Ellis, 2006). Finally, faculty performance benefits from an environment that
matches their preference.
Although one or more preferences may be excel in an electronic environment, others may
actually hinder learning. Among the options for electronic delivery is the use of web-based courses,
designed to deliver higher education to students in place of a traditional face-to-face class. Determining
the web-based student’s personality preference should help educators design an on-line curriculum that
enhances learning. Faculty members are capable of tailoring teaching styles to meet student needs
(Newman & Scrurry, 2001).
Monitoring student learning styles over time can also reveal if students are adapting to the new
learning environment. Those students that have preferences that are better suited for the electronic
learning environment require no adaptations and may therefore be at an advantage, while those who are
ill-suited must try to adapt and are at a disadvantage.

Significance of the Study

Delivering instruction through web-based courses is a current issue in higher education. Web-based
courses have been created and added to numerous undergraduate programs with insufficient supporting
research. Although researchers have made progress in understanding personality and learning styles,
minimal research is available on the relationship between them and electronic activity rate, and student
achievement in web-based courses. This study investigated the existence of student temperaments,
characteristics in the form of personality preferences that contribute to achievement in web-based
environments. Results of this research may aid administrators, faculty, students, and instructional
designers in understanding and enhance electronic learning, and also stimulate further research.
Age, gender and ethnicity all have been found to have relationships with personality
preferences and at times, no relationship. It is important to take notice of these characteristics
especially since more women are attending college, and a growing number of students are over thirty
years of age, work full time, and have families (Gorden 1996, Souncy, 2001). It is important to
examine the relationship between the student’s personality learning style preference and characteristics
that contribute to course achievement. Research has been conducted on personality learning style
preferences of students in the traditional face-to-face learning environment, yet very little in the web-
based environment. Determining the web-based student’s personality learning style preference should
help educators design an on-line curriculum that improves learning. Monitoring student learning styles
over time can also reveal if students are adapting to the new learning environments.

The primary purpose of this study was to determine the effects and interactions of university business
students’ personality learning style preference and electronic activity rates on student achievement in a
web-based classroom environment. The secondary purpose was to determine the relationship between
ethnicity and personality learning style preference, the relationship between age and personality
learning preference style, and the relationship between gender and personality learning style

The following hypotheses were developed to guide this study:
Ho1. There is no significant main effect of personality learning style preference, as measured by the
Keirsey Temperament Sorter, on student achievement of undergraduate business students
enrolled in a web-based course.
Ho2. There is no significant main effect of student electronic activity rate on student achievement of
undergraduate business students enrolled in a web-based course.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Ho3. There is no significant interaction or interactions between personality learning style preference
and electronic activity rate on student achievement in a group of undergraduate business
students enrolled in a web-based course.
Ho4. There is no significant relationship between personality learning style preference and ethnicity
in a group of undergraduate business students enrolled in a web-based course.
Ho5. There is no significant relationship between personality learning style preference and gender in
a group of undergraduate business students enrolled in a web-based course.
Ho6. There is no significant relationship between personality learning style preference and age in a
group of undergraduate business students enrolled in a web-based course.

Methodology of the Study

This study was designed to determine whether there was a significant main effect and interaction
between business students’ personality learning style preferences, electronic activity rate (student
activity courseware report tracking) on student achievement in web-based courses. Personality learning
style preferences were measured utilizing the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) and student
electronic activity rate was gathered through the Manage Course application provided with Web
Course Tools (WebCT) web-based courseware. All web-based courses under investigation utilized
WebCT courseware. A student data form was utilized to record the students’ personality learning style
preferences, electronic activity rates, and other individual characteristics that answered the hypotheses.
Final semester grades were used as an indicator of course achievement.

Selection of Sample
Students enrolled in undergraduate web-based business courses at the University of Houston-Victoria
were the sample for this study. There were 106 students (subjects) for this study. The web-based course
offerings were as follows: Business Finance, Quantitative Management Science, Principles of
Marketing, International Marketing, and Management Leadership. Each course had enrollments
between10 to 28 students.

Development of the Survey Instruments

Two instruments were utilized: The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (Keirsey, 2000), and a student data
form. The Keirsey Temperament Sorter is widely utilized in psychological, business, and educational
research (Cloninger, 1996; Keirsey, 2000). The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) was administered
to determine the personality temperaments and characteristics for this research since it is based on the
Jungian functions, and it is reliable, valid, and available electronically to faculty and students alike.
The KTS consists of 70 items, each with 2 choices. After an individual submits the instrument
electronically, the results are automatically reported to them. Students will receive a personality profile
describing their temperament and personality characteristics.
Temperament refers to a set of inclinations humans have at birth, while character is a set of
habits acquired through one's lifetime. Personality is the combination of these inherited and
environmental attributes. The KTS identifies the temperaments/personality preferences of individuals
utilizing the Jungian Functions which are as follows: E = Extraversion, I = Introversion, S = Sensation,
N = Intuition, T = Thinking, F = Feeling, J = Judgment, and P = Perception. These functions form the
four main temperaments with four variants totaling sixteen different personality preferences. Keirsey
identifies four main temperaments and these are as follows: The Artisan, the Guardian, the Idealist, and
the Rational. The Artisan (SP) tends to be optimistic, playful, sensual, unconventional, daring,
impulsive, excitable, and adaptable. The four types of Artisan are composers (ISFP), crafters (ISTP),
performers (ESFP), and promoters (ESTP). The Guardian (SJ) is inclined to be responsible, helpful,
hardworking, sociable, loyal, stable, traditional, and law abiding. Included in the four types of

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Guardian are inspectors (ISTJ), protectors (ISFJ), providers (ESFJ), and supervisors (ESTJ). The
Idealist (NF) is categorized as enthusiastic, romantic, intuitive, kindhearted, intense, authentic,
symbolic, and inspirational. The four types of Idealist are healers (INFP), counselors (INFJ),
champions (ENFP), and teachers (ENFJ). The remaining temperament type is the Rational. (NT) which
tends to be pragmatic, skeptical, analytical, independent, strong willed, logical, even-tempered, and
curious. The four types of Rational are architects (INTP), field marshals (ENTJ), inventors (ENTP),
and masterminds (INTJ).
The reliability coefficients of the KTS are between 0.54 and 0.86 (Kelly & Jugoviv, 2001;
Quinn, Lewis, & Fischer, 1992). The KTS measures the same constructs as the Myers-Briggs Type
Indicator which has also been proven to a valid indicator (Kelly & Jugoviv, 2001; Tucker & Gillespie,
In addition, student data form (SDF) requesting background information, similar to what many
colleges request on admissions and satisfaction forms, was administered to collect ethnicity, age, and
gender variables.

Collection of the Data

The researcher met with faculty to discuss the implications of the research and the instructions for
disseminating the instruments to their students. The researcher wrote write brief instructions for
students to be posted on the professor’s course web-site. Students were each given instructions by the
researcher and their respective professor for completing the web-based instruments and the informed
consent forms for completion. Students were asked to complete the Keirsey Temperament Sorter and
to record their personalities on the student data forms. After completing the student data forms, the
students forwarded the forms to their respective professor. Each professor was asked to collect the data
forms and to record the student’s final grade and electronic activity (courseware student report
tracking) onto the form at the end of semester. Electronic activity consists of all activity within an
online course, such as accessing the homepage, tool page, content module page, items to be read, and
bulletin board postings. The student data forms were forwarded to the researcher. Students’ final
grades were collected as a measure of student achievement. The instruments were administered during
finals week and two weeks following the semester.

Treatment of the Data

Students’ personality learning style preferences and data from the student data forms were compiled
into the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS 10.0) for Windows. The primary purpose of this
study was to examine the effects of two independent variables-- personality learning style preferences,
and student electronic activity rate--on the dependent variable, student achievement.
Hypotheses 1 through 3 were tested utilizing a factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) to
determine whether there was a significant effect of personality learning style preference, student
electronic activity rate, and/or a significant interaction on student achievement. Hypotheses 4 through 6
were tested utilizing a Pearson chi-square test for independence to determine if there is a relationship
between learning style personality preference and ethnicity, gender, and age.

Limitations of the Study

This study is limited by the following factors:
1. Research was conducted at one university and during a ten-week semester.
2. Students enrolled in web-based courses may demonstrate a preference for the electronic
learning environment through self-selection.
3. This study was confined to web-based business courses; data from this research may not be
applicable to other college disciplines.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Results: Undergraduate Frequency Data

Of the 106 undergraduates surveyed (6 courses), 71 (76%) responded. Sixty-three of the 71 students
(59% of the total) completed the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) and recorded their results on the
Student Data Form (SDF). All percents have been rounded up unless otherwise noted.
The majority of students were over 23 years of age (approximately 87%) with 47 % of the
students between 23 and 29 years of age. Sixty-three percent of the undergraduates surveyed were
women. The majority of students were white-non-Hispanic (76 %) and the next largest ethnic group
was Hispanic (11 %).
Sixty-two percent of the undergraduate students were Sensing-Judging (SJ personality learning
style preference) followed by Intuition-Feeling (NF), which comprised 18 % of the undergraduates.
Sensing-Perception (SP) had 11 % while Intuition-Thinking (NT) comprised less than 5 % of the
The majority of male and female students were the SJ personality learning style, 56% and 66 %
respectively. SP’s are the second highest personality learning style preference for both genders with 24
% female and 20 % male. Males each totaled 12 % in both the NT’s and NFs’ personality learning
style preferences. It was interesting to note that males had a higher percent NF’s than females even
though there were more female students in this study. Females comprised 3 % NF’s and 8 % NTs’.
Crosstabulation of undergraduate age group and personality learning style preference revealed
that 65 % of the students between the age of 23 and 29 were SJ’s and 100 % of the students under age
22 were SJ’s. No age group followed a similar pattern. Students over 40 years of age had the highest
percentage of NT’s at 33 %.
The majority (62%) of all the undergraduates were SJ’s when personality learning style
preference was crosstabbed with ethnicity, except Asian or Pacific Islander with 100 % NT.
Student majors were nearly equally distributed in Accounting (30%), General Business (27%),
and Management (24%). Crosstabs revealed that the majority of these students in the above majors are
SJ’s and are as follows: Accounting, 56 %; General Business, 65 %; and Management, with 69 %.
Sensing-Perception was the second highest learning preference (39 %) in Accounting and General
Business (24 %). Intuition-Thinking (NT) comprised 25 % of the Management major. The most
frequent Keirsey primary personality profile was ISTJ at 25.4 %, followed by ESFJ and ISFJ with each
totaling 11 %, and the ESFP and ESTJ profiles each with 10 %. The primary Jungian functions of the
students are as follows: Extraversion, 48 % and Introversion, 52 %; Sensing, 85 % and Intuition, 16 %;
Feeling, 50 % and Thinking, 50 %; and Judging, 72 % and Perception, 28 %. Crosstabs on student final
grade and personality learning style preferences revealed that most students achieved a grade of B or
better in all personality learning style preferences. Ninety-seven percent of the undergraduates received
a C or better (approximately, 48 %--A, 24 %--B, and 25 % --C).
Most students had either a medium electronic activity rate (42 %) or High electronic activity
rate (39 %). Activity rates were divided into Low, Medium, and High categories due to the nature of
required activity in each course. Crosstabs on student final grade and electronic activity rate revealed a
greater percent of students with high and medium activity rates (54 and 47 % respectively) achieve
higher grades—B or better. Crosstabs on personality learning style preference and electronic activity
rates results are as follows: SP, 43% Medium activity, and 29 % in both Low and High activity; SJ,
49% High activity, 39 % Medium, and 13 % Low; NT, 67 % High activity, and 33 % Medium and zero
Low; NF, 75 % Medium activity, 25 % Low, and zero High.

Results: Undergraduate Statistics Data

Hypotheses 1, 2, and 3 were tested with the Analysis of Variance Between-Subjects Factors Full
Factorial Model (ANOVA) to determine the main effects and interactions of Personality Learning
Style Preferences and Electronic Activity Rates on Course Achievement. Full factorial model contains
all the factor main effects and all factor-by-factor interactions. Pearson Chi Squares were deployed on

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Hypotheses 4, 5, and 6: Personality Learning Style Preference and Gender; Personality Learning Style
Preference and Ethnicity; and Personality Learning Style Preference and Age Group.

Hypotheses 1:
There is no significant main effect of personality learning style preference, as measured by the Keirsey
Temperament Sorter, on student achievement of undergraduate business students enrolled in a web-
based course.

Personality learning style preference was found to not have a significant effect on student achievement
when tested with the Analysis of Variance as shown below in Table One. The null hypothesis was not

Table 1: Tests of Between-Subjects Effects Dependent Variable: FINAL GRADE

Source Type III Sum of Squares DF Mean Square F SIG.

Model 630.211 10 63.021 67.086 .000
Effect: Personality Preference 1.639 3 .546 .582 .630
Effect: Student Electronic Activity 1.998 2 .999 1.063 .353
Interaction: Preference * Electronic Activity 2.223 4 .556 .592 .670
Error 49.789 53 .939
Total 680.000 63
a. Computed using alpha =.05
b. R Squared =.927 (Adjusted R Squared =.913)
c. Type III model is the default and calculates the sums of squares of the effect in the design as the sums of squares adjusted for any other effects that
do not contain it and orthogonal to any effects (if any) that contain it.

Table 2: Test of Homogeneity of Variances Levene's Test of Equality of Error Variances Dependent


1.762 9 53 .098
a. Tests the null hypothesis that the error variance of the dependent variable is equal across groups. If significant, equal variances are rejected. Not
significant @.098.

Hypotheses 2:
There is no significant main effect of student electronic activity rate on student achievement of
undergraduate business students enrolled in a web-based course.

Electronic activity rate was found not to have a significant effect on student achievement when tested
for Analysis of Variance as shown on Table 1. The null hypothesis was not rejected.

Hypotheses 3:
There is no significant interaction or interactions between personality learning style preference and
electronic activity rate on student achievement in a group of undergraduate business students enrolled
in a web-based course.

There was no significant interaction between personality learning style preference and electronic
activity rate on student achievement as shown on Table 1. The null was not rejected. Figure 1 below

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

shows that personality learning style and student electronic activity did interact, but it was not

Figure 1: Interaction of Personality Learning Style and Student Electronic Activity on Grade Means

Estimated Marginal Means of FINAL GRADE



Estimated Marginal Means



2.0 HIGH

Learning Style

Non-estimable means are not plotted

The combined main effects of personality learning style preference and electronic activity rate
on course achievement in the model was significant when tested utilizing Analysis of Variance Tests of
Between subjects Effects (Table 1). Levene's test of equality--homogeneity was not rejected as shown
on Table 2. Error variance of the dependent variable was considered satisfactory across the groups of
student personality learning style preferences and electronic activity rate on student achievement and
was not rejected. The electronic activity rate/final grade Levene statistic was lower than personality
learning style preference/final grade,.124 and .387 respectively. The valued of R squared was .927 and
the adjusted R squared=.913 as shown on Table 1 above. The model explains approximately 92 % of
the variation of the dependent variable. Descriptive data for hypotheses 1, 2, and 3 is shown on Table

Undergraduate Statistics Hypotheses 1, 2 and 3:

Table 3: Descriptive Statistics Dependent Variable: FINAL GRADE

Personality Learning Style Electronic Activity Mean STD. Deviation N

LOW 3.2500 .9574 4
SP MEDIUM 2.3333 1.5055 6
HIGH 3.0000 .8165 4
LOW 3.0000 1.0000 5
SJ MEDIUM 3.0667 .9612 15
HIGH 3.3158 .8201 19
MEDIUM 3.0000 1.4142 2
HIGH 4.0000 .0000 4
LOW 3.0000 .0000 1
MEDIUM 3.3333 1.1547 3
LOW 3.1000 .8756 10
Total MEDIUM 2.9231 1.1286 26
HIGH 3.3704 .7917 27
Total 3.1429 .9648 63

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Hypotheses 4:
There is no significant relationship between personality learning style preference and ethnicity in a
group of undergraduate business students enrolled in a web-based course.
Although the Pearson Chi-Square was significant, there are too many cells with counts less than five to
conclude that there was a significant relationship between personality learning style preference and
ethnicity (Table 4). Descriptive data is shown on Table 5.

Table 4: ENTHICITY * Learning Style Crosstabulation Chi-Square Tests


Pearson Chi-Square 40.337 12 .000
Likelihood Ratio 28.741 12 .004
N of Valid Cases 63
a. 18 cells (90.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is .13.

Table 5: Hypotheses 4: Crosstabulation Personality Learning Style and Ethnicity

Ethnicity SP SJ NT NF Total
Total 14 39 6 4 63

Hypotheses 5:
There is no significant relationship between personality learning style preference and gender in a group
of undergraduate business students enrolled in a web-based course.

Although the Pearson Chi-Square was not significant, there are too many cells with counts less than
five to conclude that there was not a significant relationship between personality learning style
preference and gender (Table 6). Descriptive data is shown on Table 7.

Table 6: GENDER * Learning Style Chi-Square Tests


Pearson Chi-Square 2.677 3 .444
Likelihood Ratio 2.649 3 .449
N of Valid Cases 63

Table 7: Hypotheses 5: Crosstabs Personality Learning Style and Gender

Female 9 25 3 1 38
Male 5 14 3 3 25
Total 14 39 6 4 63

Hypotheses 6:
There is no significant relationship between personality learning style preference and age in a group of
undergraduate business students enrolled in a web-based course.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Although the Pearson Chi-Square was significant, there are too many cells with counts less than five to
conclude that there was a significant relationship between personality learning style preference and age
(Table 8). Descriptive data is shown on Table 9.

Table 8: AGE GROUP * Learning Style Chi-Square Tests


Pearson Chi-Square 17.472 9 .042
Likelihood Ratio 19.698 9 .020
N of Valid Cases 63
a. 12 cells (75.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is .51.

Table 9: Hypotheses 6: Crosstabs Personality Learning Style and Age Group

Age Group SP SJ NT NF Total

18-22 8 8
23-29 5 19 3 2 29
30-39 7 8 2 17
40-49 2 4 3 9
Total 14 39 6 4 63

Although the results of this study revealed that the main effects and interactions of university business
students’ personality learning style preferences and electronic activity rates on course achievement
produced no significant effects or interactions, it is important to explore student achievement and
cognitive preferences to help ensure effective learning environments. The results revealed that students
with different levels of electronic activity can be successful. The relationship of personality learning
style preferences with age, gender and ethnicity generated mixed significant results, which was
consistent with the literature.
There were nearly an equal number of extraverts and introverts in the undergraduate
population. The 18-22 years of age group comprised all SJ’s. Although fewer subjects in this age group
were compared to the others, it was a notable result. Since learning style has been related to culture,
research on personality learning style preference and its relationship to ethnicity and age could be
investigated to study how individual’s learning style characteristics may change as they age and the
relationship to culture. It would be interesting to determine if there are any relationships between
personality learning style preferences and the other learning styles—visual, auditory, and the
kinesthetic/tactile commonly utilized in educational settings. Few faculty revealed their personality
learning style preferences in this study. Future research on faculty may include qualitative methods to
encompass a more inclusive portrayal of college faculty personality learning style on student
Additional research is needed on a consistent long-term basis to determine student personality
learning style relationships and factors in web-based learning environments, and its impact on student
achievement. Examining the students, the faculty, and the electronic learning environment will help
higher education institutions promote better teaching and instructional methods.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Allen, E. I. & Seaman J. (2006). Making the grade, online education in the United States, 2006.
Sloan Consortium 2006 http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/survey/pdf/making_the_grade.pdf
[2] Alexander, S. & Boud, D. (2001) learners still learn from experiences when online. In J.
Stephenson (Ed.) Teaching and learning Online: pedagogies for New Technologies. London:
Kogan-Page Limited
[3] Carnevale, D. (2005). Online courses continue to grow, report says. Chronicle of Higher
Education. 51 (44) 29. http://chronicle.com/weekly/v51/i44/44a02902.htm
[4] Carnevale, D. (2006). Company survey suggests strong growth potential for online education.
Chronicle of Higher Education 53 (13) A35.
[5] Carnevale, D. (2006). Online courses continue to grow, report says. Chronicle of Higher
Education. 53(14) 36. http://chronicle.com/weekly/v53/i14/14a03603.htm
[6] Cloninger, S. (1996). Theories of personality: Understanding persons. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
[7] Dewey, J. (1973). The philosophy of John Dewey. New York: Putnam Sons.
[8] Dinham, S. M. (1996). What college teachers need to know. In R. J. Menges, M. Weimer, &
associates, Teaching on solid ground: Using scholarship to improve practice. San Francisco:
[9] Eble, K. E. (1988). The craft of teaching: A guide to mastering the professor’s art (2nd ed.). San
Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
[10] Elias, J. A., & Stewart, B. R. (1991). The effects of similarity and dissimilarity of student and
teacher personality type on student grades. The Marketing Educator, 17, 42-51.
[11] Ellis A. E. (2006). Personality type and learning environment: two case studies. Proceedings of
the 23rd annual ascilite conference.
[12] Foster, A., & Carnevale, D. (2007). Distance education goes public. Http: Chronicle of higher
education 53 (34).
[13] Gordon, T. C. (1996). An assessment of the descriptors and determinants of academic success
of selected allied health students in Virginia. Dissertation Abstracts International, 56 (10-
[14] Internet World Stats (2007) http://www.internetworldstats.com/asia/cn.htm
[15] Keirsey, D., & Bates, M. (1984). Please understand me: Character and temperament types. (5th
ed). Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis.
[16] Keirsey, D. (2000). Please understand me II. Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis.
[17] Kelly, K. R., & Jugoviv, H. (2001). Concurrent validity of the online version of the Keirsey
Temperament Sorter II. Journal of Career Assessment, 9, 49-59.
[18] Kozulin, A. (1990). Vygotsky’s psychology, a biography of ideas. Harvard University Press
[19] Lu, J., Yu, C.S., & Liu, C. (2001). Learning styles, learning patterns, and learning performance
in a WebCT-based MIS course. 2001 Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of the
Decision Sciences Institute at Chihuahua, Mexico.
[20] Mark, N., Michaels, C., & Levas, M. G. (2003). The relationship of personality traits and self-
monitoring behavior to choice of business major. Journal of education for business. 78 (3) 153-
[21] McKeachie, W. J. (1994). Teaching tips. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath.
[22] Melear, C. T. (1989). Cognitive processes in the curry learning style framework as measured by
the style profile and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator among non-majors in college biology.
Dissertation Abstract International, 51 A, 127.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[23] Musa, A. & Wood, J. R. G. (2003) Online learning and learning styles. Conference
proceedings, Education on a changing environment. University of Salford, UK.
[24] Myers, I. B. & Myers, P. B. (1980). Gifts differing. C. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists
[25] Newman, F., & Scurry, J. (2001). Online technology pushes pedagogy to the forefront.
Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/13/01 B7 http://chronicle.com/weekly/v47/i44/44b00701.htm
[26] Percentage of Internet-connected Households Soars to 60% in 2000. (2000).
http://www.instat.com/pr/2000/is0001sp_pr.htm http://www.instat.com/
[27] Pew Internet & Amercian Life project. (2007).
[28] Pew research (2007). Pew research center publications http://pewresearch.org/pubs/537/china-
[29] Quellette, R. P. (2001). Logging in With…Robert P. Ouellette. June 29 2001
[30] Quinn,T. Q., Lewis, R. J., & Fischer, K. L. (1992). A cross-correlation of the myers-Briggs and
Keirsey instruments. Journal of College Student Development, 33, 279-80.
[31] Raiszadeh, A. D. (1997). Mathematics achievement in college developmental mathematics.
Digital Dissertations, AAT9840330.
[32] Shuler, C. A. (1999). Learning styles of criminal justice students: a study of two rural
universities. Dissertation Abstracts International, 59 (8-A): 2854.
[33] Skauge, S. E. (1999). University studies science course selection and academic achievement in
relation to the myers-briggs type indicator. Dissertation. Texas A & M University-Commerce.
[34] Sonnenwald, D. H. & Li, B. (2003). Scientific collaboratories in higher education: exploring
learning style preferences and perceptions of technology. British Journal of Educational
Technology. V 43 No 4 2003 419-431.
[35] Soucy, K. A. (1996). Learning styles and personality types of traditional versus non-traditional
students. Dissertation Abstracts International, 56 (7-A): 2533.
[36] Sternberg R. J. (1997). Thinking styles. Port Chester, NY: Cambridge University Press.
[37] Sun, T. D. (1998). Learning styles and preferences for teaching methods among nontraditional
college students. Dissertation Abstracts International, 58 (8-A): 2962.
[38] Tribble, D. H. (1998). A comparison of personality types of alternative and traditional campus
students. Dissertation Abstracts International, 58 (7-A): 2593.
[39] Tucker,I. F. & Gillespie, B. V. (1993). Correlations among three measures of personality type.
Perceptual and Motor Skills, 77, 650.
[40] Whiteley, T. R. (2007). Integrating the technological resources of the online learning
environment with the VAK learning styles model to foster student learning. Amercian
Marketing Association 2007
[41] Wicklein, R. C. & Rojewski, J. W. (1995). The relationship between psychological type and
professional orientation among technology education teachers. Journal of Technology
Education. 7(1)

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Exploring Mentoring as a Tool for

Career Advancement of Academics in
Private Higher Education Institutions in Malaysia

Lawrence Arokiasamy
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

Maimunah Ismail
Universiti Putra Malaysia

Mentoring refers to a dyadic relationship in which a more experienced member of the
organization with a less experienced individual. Mentoring provides supports as a mentor
acts as a role model. Mentoring is important for organizational development as it implies
workplace learning and leadership principles in career advancement. The functions of a
mentor are to teach, coach, support and guide a protégé, to progress in career. This study
explores roles of mentoring in career advancement of academics in private higher
education institutions.

Keywords: Mentoring, career advancement, academic, and private institutions of higher


The academic profession has been described by Perkin (1969) as the most important profession of the
twentieth century. He argues that by the later part of the twentieth century, it is a time when the world
is increasingly dominated by professional experts. Thus, university lecturers have become the
educators and counselors of the other professions. In this view, it is universities, through their
academic staff, which provide the expansion of new knowledge, the leading shoots of intellectual
culture, and the institutionalization of innovation in arts, sciences and technology. The view perceives
academics as the repository of current knowledge, disseminators of knowledge and creators of new
knowledge, as well as being critics of conventional academic and epistemological wisdoms.
However, as professionals themselves, academics have their own disciplinary, occupational and
material interests in relation to the institutions of learning in which they teach, research and work.
These interests include freedom to teach and study their academic subjects without political or external
interference; the right to share in making decisions in relation to the curriculum and research agenda;
the right to participate in determining the conditions of life and work in the institutions where they are
employed; security of tenure; and satisfactory terms and conditions of career.
This paper aims to explore concept of mentoring and its role to career advancement of
academics. While numerous studies have been carried out to examine career advancement of
academics in Malaysia (Leong and Sohail, 2003; Sohail, Jegatheesan and Nor Azlin, 2002; Maimunah
and Roziah, 2006), however, none of them has focused on the role of mentoring for career
advancement of academics particularly in the Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs). This
study aims to fill in this knowledge gap by focusing on the role of mentoring in the career
advancements of academics in Malaysian PHEIs.
The methodology of this study is using literature review of past research conducted on
mentoring and its relation to career advancement. The article is organized in to several sections. First, it
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

starts with an overview of PHEIs in Malaysia. It is then followed by reviews on the meaning of
mentoring and career advancement, types of mentoring and roles as well as outcomes of mentoring to
career advancement. The paper then briefly concludes and suggests the significance of mentoring to
career advancement of academics in PHEIs.

Private Higher Education Institutions

A market sensitive educational system has been evolving in Malaysia. Traditionally, public universities
were responsible for providing undergraduate and post graduate studies. However, the demand for
university places has outstripped the availability within the public university system and further
considering other constraints as funding Hence, a policy has been made to allow for the development
of PHEIs.
While private institutions have been in existence in Malaysia for the last twenty years, the
government has been actively supporting them since 1995 to develop their own unique and innovative
education career path. This has been necessitated due to the structural transformation of the economy,
and the emphasis of the educational policy, which has been directed towards building a pool of well-
educated and skilled professionals (Sohail, Jegatheesan and Nor Azlin, 2002).
Since the Asian economic crisis in 1997, Malaysia, as well as other countries in the region, has
devised innovative ways to improve qualities in higher education. The strategy pursued for growth and
development of education has been to encourage private sector to meet the needs of tertiary education
resulting in a market sensitive educational system. Private institutions are since allowed to offer
various types of courses. At the level of the bachelors’ degree, they may offer courses leading to a
degree under an inter-institutional collaborative arrangement with either a local or foreign university.
Two major categories of arrangement has been envisaged – the split degree arrangement and the entire
degree arrangement. Under the split degree arrangement, a part of the degree is undertaken at the
private institutions and the final part of the program is completed at the foreign university – twinning
programs, credit transfer and advanced standing programs are the modes of completion of the degree.
The major arrangements, which allow for the entire degree to be completed at the private college, are
the 3+0 foreign degree franchised program, external program, and the distance learning program
(Sohail and Saeed, 2001).
With a focus on the development of PHEIs, there were nine private universities, two virtual
universities and branch campuses of four foreign universities, as until 2006. While the private
universities have been vested with the right to award their own degrees at all levels, the foreign
universities award identical degree programs as at the host university. This will obviously mean that
academic staff numbers must have increased. The total number of academics in PHEIs in Malaysia
(MOHE 2003) is 2,992, with a breakdown of 557 of Ph.D holders, 1404 Masters, 962 Bachelors and 69
Diploma. (see Table 1)

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 1: Number of Academics in Private Higher Education Institutions.

1600 04
1200 2
800 7




PhD Masters Bachelors Diploma

Source: Ministry of Higher Education, 2003

The Malaysian government has linked economic development with education and envisioned
that the country will be a regional educational hub. To this end, the government established the
National Accreditation Board (LAN) to regulate activities related to all aspects of education such as
infrastructure, curriculum and human resources to increase the efficiency and standardized education,
particularly in the private higher institutions (LAN, 1998).
The implication for academics will be a drive towards gaining competitive advantage over
others by upgrading academic qualifications and to establish a culture of teaching, research and
services. Evaluation of individual academics will take into account a service mix in the quest for high
academic standards (Ismail and Murtedza, 1996).
The PHEIs owned by profit-driven enterprise have created a positive impact on the educational
industry. However, profit driven providers of education have posed a number of problems related in
developing academic staff in the higher level. Problems include the lack of training and development
and an appropriate qualification level. Some private higher educational institutions hired staff with low
level of qualification and less experience, and some are among the foreigners. The Ministry of Higher
Education was taking steps to curb the rampant and blatant abuse of students’ visas, where some
foreign students used students’ visas as a mean to gain employment while registered with unlicensed
higher educational institutions (Ministry of Higher Education, 2003).
Career research continues to thrive. The majority of this research in recent years has focused on
the changes in traditional career and uncertainty environment. Education professionals are now looking
at meeting the demands of operating in a global arena. Indeed, Altbach (1996) comment that “as the
world has become increasingly interdependent and national academic boundaries have been blurred,
science and scholarship are becoming increasingly international”. Further, contemporary career theory
argues for broader understandings to encompass the multi-dimensionality of career including the
challenges of internalization of higher education and the borderless career.

Literature review
Mentoring has its origins in Greek mythology with Athens, the Goddess of Wisdom. A man called
herself has mentor, Athena became a substitute parent to Telemachus, and whose father, Odysseus was
away during the Trojan War. Athena guided and nurtured the boy who would become the future king
of Ithaca. Mentoring, traditionally viewed as an intense relationship between a younger adult and an
older, more experienced adult who helps the younger individual learn (Kram, 1985). Hayes (2001)
reviewed the mentoring literature across the disciplines of business, nursing, and education and defined
mentoring as a process of building trust between two people, one is experienced and the other a
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

The meaning of mentoring can be viewed from two dimensions. First, mentoring can be
understood from traditional perspective and secondly from new career context. The significance of
putting these perspectives is to show changes in its meaning over time.

Traditional perspective on mentoring

Fagenson (1989) noted that a traditional mentoring relationship is one in which a senior person
working in the organization assists with the career advancement and professional development.
Mentoring studies have provided insights into, individual-level factors that account for the cultivation
of such relationships including locus of control, mentor race and gender role. In addition, the
organization-level factors such as organizational culture, organizational structure, diversity, promotion,
career satisfaction, and competences. Overall, these traditional concepts of mentoring had focused on a
single or primary mentoring relationship.
Originally, a mentor referred to an influential individual with advanced experience and
knowledge providing support and mobility to their protégé’s careers (Fagenson, 1989; Noe, 1988).
Daloz (1986) defined mentors as essentially those who guide and lead others along the journey of their
lives. Caffarella (1992) asserted that mentoring involves an intense caring relationship in which
persons with more experience work with less experienced persons to promote both professional and
personal development. (p.38). Anderson (1993) defined mentoring as the process in which an
individual has regular dialogue with, and receives advice from a more experienced member of the
organization on a range of issues relating to the individual’s job and career development. Ragins and
Cotton (1999) noted that mentoring relationship is highly beneficial by providing career development
aid and facilitating the protégé’s advancement in the organization. These contribute to the protégé’s
personal growth and professional development.
Over the years, the importance of having mentor in career development have received ample
attention (e.g., Godshalk and Sosik, 2003; Higgins, 2001; Lankau and Scandura, 2002; Scandura and
Williams, 2001). For instance, employees with a mentor support have more promotions, higher
incomes and more work satisfaction than employees without a mentor (Baugh and Scandura, 1999;
Ragins et al., 2000; Whitney and Coestsier, 1993). However, it is increasingly acknowledged that
having a mentoring relationship became important for employees seeking career advancement in both
domestic and international management of various employment contexts. Hence, it is argued that
mentoring, too, has a great impact on career advancement of academics.

Mentoring in the New Career Context

Career researchers have written extensively about the changes of the environment and the role of
mentoring. This leads the definition and role of mentoring to have changed drastically in the new
context. The changes can be viewed in four types. The first is employment contract between
individuals and their employers. Recently, increasing pressure to respond to competitive conditions,
ongoing customer demands, job security, globalization, and organizational restructuring of work have
influences career performance of employees. Thus, role of mentoring in today’s organizations have
changed. Secondly, the changing nature of technology has also affected the forms and functions of
individuals’ career aspiration and expectation. The rapid pace of change in information technologies
has increased the importance of knowledge workers. Today, worker is keen to learn and adapt to new
methods through self-directed learning. Unlikely those days we need superior to advice, coach and
teach the newcomers to the organizations.
Third, the changing nature of organizational structures affects sources from which individuals
receive developmental assistant. As organizations expand internationally in a variety of structural
arrangements such as joint ventures, licensing, outsourcing and virtual business, and employees will
need to look beyond intra-organizational sources to others who can provide them with professional
assistant. Finally, organizational membership has become increasingly diverse, particularly in terms of

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

race, nationality, and gender, which affect both the needs and resources available for developmental
(Kram & Hall, 1996). This certainly has influence on career advancement and development of
employees. This brief review of the literature on traditional view of mentoring and new career context
suggests particular shifts in the definitions and nature of the mentoring relationships.

Types of Mentoring
The notion of a senior professional promoting the career of a newcomer has shaped the development of
mentoring programs. Mentoring programs can be categorized into two types which is formal and
informal mentoring relationships. Formal mentoring relationship usually developed through the
assignment of members of the relationships by a third party (Murray, 1991). Informal mentors are
motivated to enter the relationships by mutual identification and developmental needs. Perhaps formal
mentors may enter them to meet organizational expectations. These programs vary in their length and
structure such as informal mentoring is unstructured and usually last for many years (Kram, 1985). In
contrast, formal mentoring are usually shorter duration e.g. less than a year and in a relationship both
parties has signed contract. These programs resulted on helping the protégés achieve long term career
goals, more satisfied with current job, socialize newcomers and provide on-the-job training. Also, other
factors that determine mentoring relationships are amount of personal contact between mentor and
protégé, influence exerted by mentor, gender and seniority of mentor and protégé, and goals to be
achieved. Through satisfied mentoring relationship will eventually help better career goal and career
advancement among academics.

The Role of Mentoring and Outcomes in Career Advancement

Before discussing the role of mentoring and outcomes of mentoring, it is necessary to briefly explain
the meaning of career advancement. Career advancement refers to processes that one undergoes toward
changes in performance, job position, promotion, better relationship with management in any
organization. According to Apospori, Nikandrou and Panayotopoulou (2006), there are many
determinants of career advancement including interpersonal and individual determinants, human
capital and family. International determinants involve supportive relationships at work, such as
mentors and peer network that facilitate advancement. Individual determinants include personality
traits and other psychological factors that concern one’s capacity for managing such as motivation,
career aspiration and gender role orientation. Human capital determinants refer to personal investments
in education and experience that enrich employees’ value in the job market.
The academic career system has unique features, which has made it a different bureaucratic
model of careers and which now makes it a kind of leading indicator of changes in the career system in
other sectors (Baruch and Hall, 2004a). However, we can observe that recent boundaryless or protean
career models represent a move towards the original view of academics as autonomous professionals
(Baruch and Hall, 2004b). According to Altbach (1995), working within universities has changed
dramatically, large changes in resource allocation took place, substantial and rapid decline in funding,
an ongoing emphasis on more efficiency, and faculty members are increasingly pressured to be
productive. So, to minimize work pressure, mentoring can be a good solution that can lead to greater
career advancement.
Studies of mentoring in higher education indicated that support and sponsorship contributed to
faculty vitality and career success (Henderson & Welch, 1993). In addition, the lack of pre-established
mentorship and social network contributed to a maladaptive star in one’s academic career (Boice,
1993). William and Blackburn (1998) studied faculty mentoring in eight nursing colleges and found
that, mentoring types of role specific teaching, and encouragement were related to protégés research
productivity. The notion of mentoring in academic has discussed the outcomes of career advancement,
and personal development as an ideal mentoring relationship in academics from both the perspective of
the mentor and protégés. Johnsrud (1991) proposed that the establishment of mentoring relationship in

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

keeping with these principles could enhance collaboration across the academic environment, and thus
has the potential to contribute to both individual and organizational success.
Social Learning Theory that had been extended by Bandura (1976), argued that cognitive
process involved in the observation then on the subsequent behaviors. Central to this theory is the
separation of observation from the act of imitation. Bandura’s observational learning is characterized
by the concept of self-regulation. He contends that persons can regulate their own behavior to some
extent by visualizing self-generated consequences. Thompson (1990) and St. Clair (1994) further argue
that Social Learning Theory represents the theoretical foundations on mentoring in education. This
learning theory, which combines elements from both behaviorist and cognitivist orientations, posits
that people learn from observing others. The theory contributes to adult learning by highlighting the
importance of social context and explicating the process of modeling and mentoring. According
Gibson (2002), that early mentoring relationship is crucial to the overall development of the young
adult. The author further supported the importance of mentoring in adult development in his
longitudinal study of 95 male Harvard graduates. He found that the most successful men had been both
protégés of a mentoring relationship and mentors to others as well.
In Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development, mentoring was identified as part of the
development stage of “generativist”. In middle adulthood, resolving the tensions between generatively
and self-absorption allows people to care for others. In this stage, individuals are begun to feel a need
to provide support and guidance to the next generation (cited in Bee & Bjorklund, 2000). In the best of
circumstances, the process of mentoring is mutually beneficial to both mentors and protégés in ways
that include personal and career advancement. Mentors often find themselves professionally simulated,
personally enriched and perhaps rejuvenated.
Mentoring researchers are begun to recognize that there is variation in the satisfaction level
(Ragins & Scandura, 1999). It is critical to understand how the full range of mentoring relationships
affects career and job attitudes in the workplace. Protégés with highly satisfying mentors may display
positive work attitudes and this situation leads to better performance, but there may be few differences
between non-protégés and protégés with marginally satisfying or dissatisfying mentors lead to poor
A study by Noe (1988) pointed the determinants of successful assigned formal mentoring
relationships. This study consists of 43 mentors and 139 protégés engaged in a formal mentoring
program designed to promote the personal and career advancement of educators. He found that
protégés reported receiving beneficial psychosocial outcomes. He suggested that mentoring
relationships provide both career advancement and psychosocial functions. These relationships were
characterized by high levels of commitment on the part of both mentors and protégés and were
perceived to have a higher impact on the individual’s personal development. Noe also noted that the
potent influence on the success of mentoring relationships such as individual’s level of self-efficacy.
The purpose of mentoring is to promote the newcomer’s career advancement, personal development
and education. The outcomes of the mentoring process are accomplished goals, role fulfillment and
self-efficacy. Therefore, mentoring is a process that can encourage self-efficacy that enable one to take
on a new role successfully and become a fully committed professional.
Mentoring researchers have supported with empirical evidence on the role of mentoring to
career advancement. Many countries have adapted the mentoring as a tool for career advancement. In
Japan, the mentoring relationships have been incorporated in the culture. Japanese culture which
enriched with values and morale has accepted mentoring relationship as part of the working culture.
Mentoring which emphasizes high value placed on continuity, obligation and duty between individual,
the notion of respect for elders and the concept of seniors protecting juniors from failure. These
indicate that mentoring have been accepted more than a tool in Japan since it is already embedded in
their culture.
In the United States, mentoring has been the focus of much research and discussion over the
past decade. Ragins et al.’s (2000) study about the effect of mentoring and career attitudes it was found

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

that mentoring relationships significantly related with individuals satisfactions and positive attitudes
towards workplace. The results of the study are in congruent with Levinson et al.’ (1978) theory that
mentoring is not simple and it is important for continuous work effectiveness.
In Australia, there is a great interest in mentoring. Mentoring programs are implemented in all
types of organizations, from manufacturing to banking and finance, government agencies, non-profits
such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army and small businesses (MacGregor, 2000). These programs
reflect the importance and acceptance of mentoring over many sectors. The important finding from this
study is mentoring as learning and development strategy, where an experienced co-worker uses guided
learning to assist a less experienced worker in learning new skills and improving work performance.
This has created conducive learning environment among senior and junior worker in the organizations.
Outcomes from mentoring relationships can be classified into two broad categories. The first
category is objective career outcomes such as promotion and compensation (Dreher & Ash, 1990). The
second category consists of subjective career outcomes. This is more affective and less tangible signs
of career success such as career satisfaction, career commitment, job satisfaction and turnover intention
(Noe, 1988). However, they are some studies noted the correlations between subjective and objective
career success are typically low or moderate (Judge, Boudreau, and Bretz, 1994). This shows that
career advancement is closely related with subjective outcomes of mentoring relationship.
A critical role of HRD is to support initiatives that foster employee productivity so as to
contribute to organizational performance. McDonald and Hite (1998) identified the role of mentoring
as a key HRD initiative and stated that the HRD function might well be considered a natural place for
the development of mentoring initiatives due to role of HRD in fostering career development aligned
with the need of the organization. This role clearly justifies mentoring and career advancement have
strong contribution to overall organization performance.

Conclusion and Implication for Practice

This review clearly indicates that mentoring as an important tool for career advancement among
employees including the academics. From the professional perspective, the discussion tries to establish
the roles and outcomes of mentoring that eventually leads to positive individual career and
organizational outcomes. From a personal perspective, it is reflected upon the relationships one has
experienced, both as a mentor and a protégé.
Another implication is about connection between mentoring relationships and career
advancement among academics. Studies have come to a conclusion that there is a strong connection
between mentoring and career advancement. Mentoring relationship has led toward a higher
satisfactory, trust, self-efficacy, and achievement of career goals. Therefore, these have led to better
performance and encouraged individuals for higher commitment to the organizational developmental.
The study provides insights into definition, types of mentoring program, and roles as well as
outcomes of mentoring. These insights could be applied in the context of academia. The discussion
also points to the complexity of mentoring. This in due to its multidisciplinary that integrates areas
such as workplace learning, communication, socialization, motivation, organizational culture and
career advancement. Therefore, mentoring program should be considered in human resource
development and management in PHEIs due to the dynamism in their structures, missions and visions
in the development of higher education.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Altbach, P.G. (1995). Problems and possibilities: The US academic profession, Studies in
Higher Education, 20 (1), 27-44.
[2] Apospori, E., Nikandrou, I., and Panayopoulou, L. (2006). Mentoring and women’s career
advancement in Greece. Human Resource Development International, 9 (4),506-527.
[3] Baruch, Y. and Hall, D.T.T. (2004a). The academic career: a model for future careers in other
sectors?. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 64, 241-62.
[4] Baruch, Y. and Hall, D.T.T. (2004b). Preface for the JVB special issue on careers in academia,
Journal of Vocational Behavior,64, .237-40.
[5] Baugh, S.G. and Scandura, T.A. (1999). The effects of multiple mentors on protégé attitudes
towards the work setting, Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 13 (4), 503-21.
[6] Boice, R. (1993). Early turning points in professorial careers of women and minorities. New
Directions for teaching and Learning, 53, 71-79.
[7] Perkin, H. (1969) Key Profession. London, Routledge and Kegan Paul.
[8] Sohail. S, Jegatheesan. R and Nor Azlin, (2-4 April 2002). Quality Practices in the Higher
Education Sector: A Malaysian Case Study. 7th International Conference on ISO 9000 & TQM.
Melbourne, Australia: RMIT.
[9] Sohail. S and Saeed, M (2-4 July, 2001). Private higher Education in Malaysia: A Study of
Students’ Satisfaction Levels and Its Strategic Implications. Academy of Marketing Conference
2001, A Marketing Odyssey. Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University.
[10] Ministry of Education (MOE) (2001-2010). Education Development. Private Education
[11] LAN (Lembaga Akreditasi Negara) (1998). Guidelines, Procedures and Criteria Standards and
Course Quality Analysis for Private Tertiary Education Institutions, 2nd Edition. LAN-GP98-
[12] Leong L.H & Sohail. S. (2003). An Insight into Perceptions of Career Influences on Academic
Staff in Malaysia: A Malaysian Case Study, Unpublished paper, Monash University Malaysia.
[13] Ismail, G. & Murtedza M. (Eds) (1996). The New Wave University – A Prelude to Malaysia
2020, 2nd Ed, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Pelanduk Publications.
[14] Johnsrud, L.K. (1991). Mentoring between academic women: The capacity for
interdependence. Initiatives, 54(3), 7-17.
[15] Kram, K. E. (1985). Mentoring at Work: Developmental Relationships in Organizational Life,
Glenview,III.:Scott, Foresman and Co.
[16] Fagenson, E. A. (1989). The mentor advantage: Perceived career/job experiences of protégés
versus non-proteges. Journal of Organisational Behavior, 10: 309-320.
[17] Caffarela, R.S. (1992). Psychological Development of Women. ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult,
Career and Vocational Education, Columbus, Ohio.
[18] Dreher, G.F., Ash, R.A. (1990). A comparative study of mentoring among men and women in
managerial, professional, and technical positions, Journal of Applied Psychology, 75 (5), pp.
[19] Daloz, L. (1986). Effective teaching and Mentoring: realizing the transformational Power of
Adult Learning Experiences. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
[20] Godshalk, V.M. and Sosik, J.J. (2003). Aiming for career success: The role of learning goal
orientation in mentoring relationship, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63 (3), 417-37.
[21] Higgins, M.C. (2001). Reconceptualising mentoring at work: A developmental network
perspective, Academy of Management Review, .26 (2), 254-88.
[22] Hayes, E. (2001). Factors that facilitate or hinder mentoring in the nurse practitioner
preceptor/student relationship. Clinical Excellence for Nurse practitioners. 5(2), 111-118.
[23] Maimunah, I. and Roziah, M. R. (2006). High-Flying Women Academics: A Question of Career
Mobility: Subang Jaya: Pelanduk Publications

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[24] Noe, R.A. (1988). Women and mentoring: a review and research agenda, Academy of
Management Review, 13(1), 65-78.
[25] Ragins, B.R., Cotton, J.L. (1999). Mentoring functions and outcomes: A comparison of men
and women in formal and informal mentoring relationship, Journal of Applied Psychology,
Vol. 84 No. 4, pp. 529-50.
[26] Ragins, B. R., Cotton, J.L. and Miller, J.S. (2000). Marginal mentoring: "The effects of type of
mentor, quality of relationship, and program design on work and career attitudes”, Academy
of Management Journal, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 117-1194.
[27] Ragins, B.R., Scandura, T.A. (1999). “Burden or blessing? Expected costs and benefits of being
a mentor”, Journal of Organisational Behavior, 20 (4), 493-509.
[28] Murray, M. (1991). Beyond the Myths and Magic of Mentoring: How to Facilitate an effective
Mentoring Program, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.
[29] Lankau, M.J. and Scandura, T.A. (2002). An investigation of personal learning in mentoring
relationship: Content, antecedents, and consequences, Academy of Management Journal, 45(4),
[30] Scandura, T.A. and Williams, E.A. (2001). An investigation of the moderating effects of gender
on the relationships between mentoring initiation and protégés perception of mentoring
functions, Academy of Management Journal, 59, (3), 342-63.
[31] Whitley, W.T and Coestsier, P. (1993). The relationship of career mentoring to early career
outcomes, Organization Studies, 14 (3), 419-41.
[32] Williams, R., & Blackburn, R.T. (1998). Mentoring and junior faculty productivity. Journal of
Nursing Education, 27(5), 204-209.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Socio-Demographic Characteristics of
Intercultural Marriage: A Study of a
Multi-Ethnic Community in Malaysia

Tan Jo-Pei
University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Rozumah Baharuddin

Rumaya Juhari

Steven Eric Krauss

Department of Professional Development and Continuing Education
Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Selangor, D.E. Malaysia

Due to increased levels of social contact and loosening of traditional social norms between
peoples from different races and religious backgrounds in South East Asia, there has been a
rise in the prevalence of intercultural marriages over the past fifty years (Hassan &
Benjamin, 1973; Djamour, 1965; Kuo & Hassan, 1976). Despite the cultural diversity in
Malaysia, systematic research on intercultural marriage, specifically concentrating on
intercultural marriages among the Malay Bumiputras (natives), Chinese, Indians and Other
Bumiputras and their socio-demographic characteristics, are still lacking. This study thus
explored the socio-demographic characteristics of intercultural marriages among Malay,
Chinese, Indian and Other Bumiptura mixed-married couples from Malaysia. Based on
data from 357 mixed-married couples, significant differences were found between
husbands’ and wives’ personal characteristics, namely religion-of-origin, current age, age-
at-marriage, and personal income. Results from Cramer’s V test of association further
showed a significant association between the husband-wife ethnic background and their
religion-of-origin, indicating that intercultural marriages in Malaysia also tend to be inter-
religious marriages. Findings provide support for the theory of homogeneity and structural
theory. The paper discusses the impact of ethnic and religious factors on variations in
socio-demographic characteristics between intercultural couples.

The emergence of a growing population of mixed ethnicities has shed light on the fact that intercultural
marriage is gradually becoming accepted by many Asian societies. Historically, the phenomenon of
intercultural marriage in South East Asia was first reported in the 1960s (Hassan & Benjamin, 1973;
Djamour, 1965; Kuo & Hassan, 1976). Due to the diverse cultural mix in Malaysia in particular, people
from Malay Bumiputra, Chinese, Indian and Other Bumiputra backgrounds have experienced increased
social contact, which has, as a result, spurred a variety of cross-socialization practices, including
The Population and Housing Census 2000 (Department of Statistics Malaysia, 2001) reported
that Malaysia’s population comprised 65.1% Bumiputras, 26.0% Chinese, 7.7% Indians and 1.2%
others. Islam was the most widely reported religion (60.4%), followed by Buddhism (19.2%),
Christianity (9.1%), Hinduism (6.3%) and Confucianism/Taoism/other traditional Chinese religions
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

(2.6%). The Muslim Malay Bumiputras, Muslim and Christian Bumiputras, Buddhist and Christian
Chinese, and Hindu and Christian Indians each have their own unique customs, religions and cultural
beliefs. Nevertheless, they live in the same neighborhoods, work together, and interact with each other
in various social, economic, and cultural contexts. Scholars researching the family have observed that
such multicultural contexts promote people to look beyond their own cultural groups for marriage,
which is supported by studies indicating that intercultural marriage is occurring in growing numbers
within the multi-ethnic society of Malaysia (Edmonds, 1968; Sanusi, 1981).
The history of intercultural marriage in Malaysia can be traced back to the Malaccan Empire in
the 15th century. It is recorded in the Malay Annals, which document the history of the Malay
Peninsula (now known as Peninsular Malaysia), that the first Chinese-Malay Bumiputra intercultural
marriage reported in Malaya was between Princess Hang Li-Poh of China and King Mansor Syah
(1458-1477) of Malacca. From this union, the Baba and Nyonya culture came about, referring to the
descendants of the intercultural marriage who adopted many Malay customs and spoke fluent Malay
(Tan, 1993), yet socially identified as Chinese (Edmonds, 1968).
Over the years, intercultural marriage in Malaysia became a more prevalent phenomenon.
Sanusi (1981), who studied inter-ethnic marriages in Malacca, revealed that intercultural marriages
were recorded among all the ethnic groups (i.e. Malay Bumiputra, Chinese, Indian and Portuguese) and
found them to be more prevalent when compared to previous generations. In addition, intercultural
marriage among Malaysians occurred regardless of ethnic background and religious orientation, the
most frequently recorded being Indian-Malay Bumiputras and Malay Bumiputras-Chinese.
This intercultural phenomenon subsequently raises the question, “Who are the individuals that
engage in intercultural marriage?” In homogeneous marriages, Benoktratis (1993) suggested that mate
selection is linked to common social characteristics such as ethnicity, race, religion, education
attainment and leisure interests. However, arguments have been drawn identifying patterns of spouse
selection among intercultural couples that go beyond social characteristics alone. In such cases,
common interests and experiences may emerge as the most important factors that draw individuals
together from different ethnic groups. In other words, people do not mate randomly; marriages are
often influenced by some homogeneous factors (Lewis, Yancey & Bletzer, 1997). Thus, it can be
argued that while individuals in intercultural marriages may be different in a variety of ways, they must
share some key similarities/common factors that bond them together. It is here that several questions
can be posed. For example, do all intercultural couples have different social characteristics? Could
there be a general pattern of social characteristics capable of describing married individuals from
different ethnic backgrounds?
The subsequent literature review explores these and other queries from the perspective of
previous research findings on the socio-demographic characteristics of intercultural marriages from
studies conducted in the United States, United Kingdom and South East Asia.

Literature Review
Despite the cultural diversity in Malaysia, systematic research on intercultural marriage, specifically
concentrating on intercultural marriages among the Malay Bumiputras, Chinese, Indians and Other
Bumiputras and their socio-demographic characteristics, are still inadequate. In addition, related
research is dated and may not be accurate or relevant in describing the current phenomenon of
intercultural marriage among Malaysia’s multiethnic community. Such limitations in the published
literature on intercultural marriages among the Malaysian community must be acknowledged. Thus,
the research literature reviewed is mainly comprised of samples from the United States and European

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Socio-Demographic Characteristics and Intercultural Marriage

In an earlier study conducted in the state of Malacca, Malaysia, it was documented that intercultural
marriages were found among all the major ethnic groups, though in disproportionate frequency
(Sanusi, 1981). The most frequently reported intercultural marriages were among Indians and Malays,
followed by Malays and Chinese. An interesting finding from Sanusi’s study is that the rate of
intercultural marriage among the Muslims was not much different in comparison to the rate among
Non-Muslims. Sanusi’s (1981) explanation was that the religious factor alone may not be able to
predict intercultural marriage; thus, additional factors such as educational background, residential area,
workplace, occupation, language and social status should be taken into consideration when researching
intercultural marriage in Malaysia. Accordingly, subsequent research on intercultural marriage has
suggested socio-demographic factors, represented in this study by personal and family characteristics,
to be related to the incidence of intercultural marriage. Supporting literature can be found in studies
conducted in South East Asia (Kuo & Hassan, 1976; Hassan & Benjamin, 1973), across the United
States (Whyte, 1990; Surra, 1990; Romano, 2001) and the United Kingdom (Kannan, 1972; Khatib-
Chahidi, Hill & Paton, 1998).
In an earlier study by Kuo and Hassan (1976) on intercultural marriages among Malays,
Chinese and Indians in Singapore, it was found that intercultural marriages featured a certain pattern of
socio-demographic characteristics. In their study, intercultural marriages were more likely to be inter-
religious as well with couples reporting previous marital history, being older in age and from lower or
higher occupational groups when compared with other homogeneous marriages. In addition, more
recent studies on intercultural marriage conducted in the US also reported similar findings. These
studies revealed that individuals from different backgrounds who married tended to be educated (Qian,
1999 for Whites, Africans, Hispanics and Asian Americans; Tzeng, 2000 for Asian Canadians), among
the professional-middle class or working class (Whyte, 1990), older in age (Surra, 1990; Romano,
2001 for intermarried couples in the US) and from families with previous intercultural marriages
(Cottrell, 1990 for Indian/Western couples in the US). In brief, certain patterns of socio-demographic
characteristics could be identified among the individuals involved in intercultural marriages.
In examining the factors that motivate and promote intercultural marriage, there is evidence that
intercultural marriages can be promoted by chance, availability and life experience (Khatib-Chahidi et
al., 1998; Spickard, 1989 based on a US sample; Kannan, 1972 for intermarried couples in the UK) and
social similarities (Lewis, Yancey & Bletzer, 1997 for black/white couples). For interracial marriages,
mate selection emphasizes spousal compatibility, specifically in regard to educational background
(Qian, 1999), socio-economic status (Fu & Heaton, 2000) and interests (Lewis et al., 1997). This may
imply that individuals who choose to marry a partner of different ethnic background may be reacting to
perceived social similarities and availability. Again, most of the research on personal characteristics
and motivational factors were conducted using Western samples, which may not be entirely compatible
with Asian populations.
Intercultural marriage has also been found to be influenced by the particular ethnic groups
involved. Different ethnic groups may exhibit different variations in involvement with intercultural
marriage. Hassan and Benjamin (1973), who studied the extent to which members of various ethnic
groups (e.g. Chinese, Malays, Indians and Europeans) ‘marry out’ in Singapore, provided evidential
support for the existence of variations in intercultural marriage among different ethnic groups. Findings
suggested that these variations are more influenced by ethnicity and religious factors than by social
class and education level.
Djamour’s (1965) and Silcock’s (1963) studies provide support for the significant role of
religion in determining intercultural marriages, specifically the role of Islam in Malaysia and
Singapore. According to Edmonds (1968) and Hassan and Benjamin (1973), ethnicity, custom and
religious boundaries were considered vital indicators for intercultural marriage among Malay, Chinese
and Indian families in both Malaysia and Singapore, indicating a strong connection with traditional
values and ideals. In the Asian community, the influential roles of ethnicity and religion on the family,
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

specifically on the continuation of traditional ideals and cultural norms, tend to dictate the extent to
which members marry outside of their ethnic community. In contrast, studies comparing black/white
interracial and other intercultural marriages have found that what motivates individuals to ‘marry out’
may not always be related to ethnic factors (Lewis et al., 1997; Khatib-Chahidi et al., 1998).
In general, the research literature has pointed out that individuals who go against societal norms
and venture into intercultural marriages are characterized by certain socio-demographic characteristics.
In addition, previous studies on intercultural marriage have indicated that intermarrying can be
facilitated by perceived social similarities in regard to personal and sociological factors (i.e. socio-
economic status, similar interests, chance and availability). Inconsistent results were reported on the
role of ethnicity and religion in intercultural marriage, which implies that the role of ethnicity and
religion may be dependant on the cultural or ethnic context within a given society.
Although the current literature is useful in guiding research on intercultural marriage by
capturing a range of findings that describe certain socio-economic characteristics of intermarried
couples, it may fail to acknowledge the full extent of the differences in regard to the cultural context.
Most of the findings aimed at examining the phenomenon of intercultural marriage in a specific
cultural context (e.g. black/white marriage, white/Hispanic/Asian American marriage or the United
Kingdom sample) and may not be applicable in describing the intercultural phenomenon among Malay
Bumiputras, Chinese, Indians and Other Bumiputras in Malaysia. The authors acknowledge these
limitations; subsequently, caution must be taken when applying the current study’s findings to samples
from different cultures.

Theoretical Concept
Social scientists have offered a handful of theories for understanding intercultural marriage. These
theories have attempted to explain why people marry across cultural backgrounds. The present study
utilizes two complementary theoretical perspectives in order to explain the socio-demographic
characteristics of Malaysian intercultural marriages: the Theory of Homogeneity and Structural
The Theory of Homogeneity stresses that persons tend to marry those either with a similar
family and social background or, increasingly, with a similar socioeconomic status. This theory also
refers to the mate selection process, where one chooses a mate with similar social characteristics such
as ethnicity, race, religion, educational attainment, age, social class, personal interest, occupation and
entertainment interests, as homogeneous mate selection. Empirical evidence supports the theory that
similarity of attitudes or values is one of the most important positive determinants of attraction and
mate selection. Classical studies by Brewer (1968, as cited by Blau, 1977) found that perceived
similarity was one of several factors determining liking. In order of importance, the factors were: 1)
perceived similarity; 2) physical distance between tribes; and 3) perceived educational and economic
advancement. Thus, the study proposed that couples intermarry for the same reasons that intra-married
couples do, namely, because of similarities in socio-demographic characteristics. In other words,
intercultural couples, who venture out of their own ethnic group for partners, when they meet and
discover similar interests, may fall in love and marry.
Structural theory is useful in articulating why individuals may become involved in intercultural
relationships. According to the structural approach, intercultural marriages are more frequent when the
community structure sanctions such unions. The theory posits that personal and demographic
characteristics (i.e. socio-economic, education, occupation and residence) and mutual attraction
contribute to the initiation, development and maintenance of intercultural marriages (Kouri &
Lasswell, 1993). For example, lack of kinship controls in urban environments make personal
characteristics more likely to be valued than categorical traits such as race, ethnic background, religion
or social class (Kvaraceus, 1969).

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Kouri and Lasswell (1993) found that a majority of intermarried couples are attracted to similar
values and interests or an overall compatibility, while a small proportion of interviewees reported
physical attraction to be the primary contributing factor of mate selection. These findings have lent
support to the principle of structural theory in describing and explaining the phenomenon of
intercultural marriage. It is interesting to note that Structural Theory is in accordance with the
proposition of the Theory of Homogeneity for the mate selection process among intra-married couples.
This has further affirmed that intercultural marriages can be facilitated by the same factors as intra-
cultural marriages.
Another structuralist explanation of intercultural marriage is that as such marriages increase,
society becomes desensitized to what had previously been considered socially unacceptable to most of
the population (Kouri & Lasswell, 1993). In a multiethnic community, a more liberal political and
sociological atmosphere tends to increase acceptance of intercultural marriage among community
members. Facilitated propinquity and familiarity (e.g. desegregation of neighborhoods, schools and the
workplace) between members from different ethnic groups also reduce social distance and play an
important role in the incidence of intercultural marriage (Spickard, 1989).
As noted, both theories are compatible with the articulation of intercultural marriage based on
American samples. Regarding the methodological concerns, the implications of these two theories on
Asian samples may give us a different or even contradictory result when extricating intercultural
marriage from a different cultural context. It is critical to guard against alternative explanations and
cultural bias when utilizing these theories to interpret research findings on intercultural marriage in
different cultural contexts.

The Current Study

Previous studies that have focused on intercultural marriages have exclusively dealt with marriages
among American or European couples, while neglecting the Asian community, including Malaysia. To
generalize findings from these studies may be inaccurate in explaining intercultural marriage nurtured
under different social, historical and political contexts. For example, the usual issues of discrimination,
prejudice and stereotyping leveled at ethnic minorities and intermarried couples are presumed to be
challenges for intermarried couples and their children (Tizard & Phoenix, 1993 as cited by Rosenblatt,
Karis & Powell, 1995). In contrast, though Malaysia is a multiethnic community the issue of racial
prejudice is not very prominent. Thus, scrutiny and attention given to intermarried couples in Malaysia
may be motivated by factors other than those examined in the research literature.
It is apparent that the somewhat dated and small volume of current research examining
intercultural marriages and their socio-demographic characteristics has failed to provide a clear picture
of the phenomenon and nature of intercultural marriage among the Malaysian community. Thus, the
purpose of the present study is to examine the socio-demographic characteristics of intercultural
couples with Malay, Chinese, Native and Indian ethnic backgrounds. More specifically, the study
endeavored to determine if similarities in socio-demographic characteristics, represented by personal
and family characteristics, are more important than differences between couples of intercultural
marriages. The following research questions were used to guide the data collection and analysis: a) Do
husbands and wives of intercultural marriages have similar or different socio-demographic
characteristics? b) How do intercultural couples differ in their personal and family characteristics? c)
Do family experiences contribute to intercultural marriages? d) Do intercultural marriages equate with
inter-religious marriages?

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

The research on which the current study is based recruited 512 intermarried individuals comprised of
56.6% Bumiputras (including Natives and Malays), 23.2% Chinese, 15.4% Indians and 4.8% other
ethnics from five zones in Peninsular and East Malaysia. This ethnic distribution is similar to the
national ethnic distribution in Malaysia, which implies a similarity between the sample and the
population. Participants were recruited through a database provided by the Department of National
Unity (DNU), Malaysia, since there are no official published statistics on the proportion and pattern of
intercultural marriage in Malaysia. The main objective of the research was to develop a profile of
intercultural families in Malaysia and to propose guidelines for intercultural marriage towards national
unity. While benefiting from that research, the raw data for the present research is a subset of data
extracted from the abovementioned nationwide study.
Participants for the present study included 357 individuals with partners from different ethnic
backgrounds, namely Malay Bumiputras (n=171), Chinese (n=76), Indian (n=44) and Other
Bumiputras (n=69) (i.e. the four main ethnic groups in Malaysia). The criteria for inclusion in the
present analysis were: both husbands and wives resided in Malaysia; they originated from Malay
Bumiputra, Chinese, Indian or Other Bumiputra ethnicities; they had at least one child, and only one of
the spouses (husband or wife) was included in the study sample. The distribution of selected ethnic
backgrounds was as follows: 149 Malay-Chinese couples, 129 Malay-Other Bumiputra couples and 79
Malay-Indian couples.

A set of standardized and bilingual (printed in Malay and English) questionnaires were used for data
collection. All respondents were interviewed individually by trained enumerators in their homes. The
enumerators were recruited through advertisements placed within the university campus; all the
enumerators were recently graduated university students. A special training session was also arranged
to familiarize enumerators with the questionnaires and the interviewing techniques. A series of
questions was used to collect information on the husbands’ and wives’ personal characteristics, as well
as their family characteristics. The interviewing procedure took from 60 to 90 minutes for each
individual respondent.

In accordance with the proposed research questions, variables for the present study were selected from
the existing data set. Variables for the socio-demographic characteristics were then divided into
personal and family characteristics. The variables for personal characteristics were collected for both
the husbands and wives. These included ethnicity, religion-of-origin, religion after marriage, age, age
at marriage, level of education, personal income, previous marital history and family history of
intercultural marriage. Variables describing the family characteristics of the intercultural families
included period of acquaintance, marriage duration, number of children and family’s income per
month. In addition, the families included were grouped into different husband-wife ethnic
combinations: Malay-Chinese (MC), Chinese-Malay (CM), Malay–Other Bumiputra (MA), Other
Bumiputra–Malay (AM), Malay-Indian (MI) and Indian-Malay (IM). The six husband-wife
combinations served the purpose of comparing the variations of intercultural marriage among different
ethnic groups.

Descriptive statistics were initially used to explore and discuss the overall marginal frequency
distributions of each variable included in the study. From there, inferential statistics, namely, paired t-

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were computed to test the hypotheses of the study. The paired
t-test was used to compare the personal characteristics of the husbands and wives in each intercultural
marriage. ANOVA was used to compare the mean differences of the dependent and independent
variables between the intercultural couples. In addition, Bonferonni post-hoc analysis was conducted to
determine the specific differences between the couples. Cramer’s V was used to determine the
association between the religion-of-origin and ethnicity of the couples.

Socio-Demographic Characteristics
The mean ages for the husbands and wives were 42.1 and 37.4, respectively. As for the mean ages-at-
marriage, the couples were reported to have married in their twenties, i.e. 27.8 years old for husbands
and 23.2 for wives. It was found that the reported age at marriage was lower in comparison with the
average age at marriage reported in the 2000 Malaysia Housing and Population Census (xhusband = 28.6,
xwife = 25.1). The majority of wives (59.3%) in the study were homemakers and engaged only in part-
time work such as farming, tailoring, tutoring and conducting religious lessons for supplementary
income. As expected, wives’ personal income (x=1127.0, SD=1158.1) was less than husbands’
personal income (x=1540.40, SD=1382.4). As for pair-wise comparisons, personal income for full-time
working husbands and wives was 1521.9 (SD=1314.9) and 1233.6 (SD=1200.1), respectively. The
couples had similar educational backgrounds, with an average of seven years formal education for
As for ethnicity, 54.6% of the husbands were Malay Bumiputras, 19.3% Chinese, 15.7% Indian
and 10.4% Other Bumiputras. The ethnicity distribution for wives was 45.4% Malay Bumiputras,
22.4% Chinese, 6.4% Indian and 25.8% Other Bumiputras. The majority of the marriages were
between Malay Bumiputras and Chinese (M-C=22.4%; C-M=19.3%), followed by Malay Bumiputras
and Natives (M-N=25.8%; N-M=10.4%) and Malay Bumiputras and Indians (M-I=6.4%; I-M=15.7%).
Sixty-four percent of the husbands reported Islam as their religion-of-origin, while the remainder
reported Buddhism (16.8%), Hinduism (8.1%), Christianity (8.1%) and other religions (2.9%). As for
the wives, the majority was Muslim (49.6%); other religions included Buddhism (17.1%), Hinduism
(2.8%), Christianity (19.3%), Pagan (5.8%) and other traditional religions (5.1%). However, the
religious distribution between husband and wife following marriage produced a different pattern. The
majority of husbands and wives converted to Islam, i.e. 97.2% and 96.1%, respectively. The
percentage distribution clearly indicates that Malay Bumiputra - Islam-based intermarriage accounted
for an overwhelming proportion of intercultural marriage in the study. Structurally, this is not
surprising since Malay Bumiputras are the majority ethnic group in Malaysia.
In addition, a small proportion of the intercultural couples, 15 husbands and 14 wives, reported
previous marital history. Interestingly, 43% of the participating individuals also reported that they had
family members or close relatives who were intermarried, indicating family history/exposure to the
culture of marriage beyond ethnic boundaries.
The families in the study were predominantly of middle class status with a mean combined
income of RM2000 per month (SD=1808.30). Thirty-three percent of the families had combined
incomes of more than RM2000 per month. Overall, on average the couples had been married for 15
years, with an average of three children. It was indicated that the couples, on average, had also known
each other for almost 2 years (20 months) before deciding to marry.

Mean Differences for Husband-Wife Personal Characteristics

Paired t-test results showed that the husbands and wives in the study had different personal background
characteristics. These included their current age {t (df=356) = 15.91, p < .001}, age-at-marriage {t
(df=356) = 15.47, p < .001} and personal income {t (df=163) = 487.70, p < .001} (see Table 1). On

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

average, husbands were older, married at a later age and earned a higher personal income as compared
to their wives. On the other hand, the results showed that intercultural couples tend to have similar
educational backgrounds with no prior marriage history.

Table 1: Mean Differences for Personal Characteristics of Husbands and Wives from Intercultural Marriages
from Malaysia

Variables Mean differences t-value Df Sig
Husband Wife
Current age (years) 42.10 37.40 4.67 15.91 356 .00***
Age at marriage (years) 27.80 23.20 4.64 15.47 353 .00***
Years of education (years) 7.64 7.33 0.30 1.92 353 .06
Personal income (RM) 1540.4 1127.10 487.70 5.10 163 .00***
Previous marital record (1,0)1 0.004 0.003 0.001 0.19 356 .85
Note. p< .01**, p< .001***
1= Previously married, 0= No previous marriages

Differences within Intercultural Marriages

As for intercultural group differences, ANOVA revealed that intercultural couples from different ethnic
backgrounds significantly differed in socio-demographic characteristics (see Table 2). The variables
represented personal characteristics including the couple’s age {FWife (df=5, 351) = 3.43, p < .01;
FHusband (df=5, 351) = 3.39, p < .01}, years of education {Fwife (df=5, 351) = 3.54, p < .01; FHusband
(df=5, 351) = 2.34, p < .05} and husband’s age at marriage {F (df=5, 348) = 2.73, p= < .01}. In
addition, intercultural families significantly differed in their family characteristics, such as period of
acquaintance {F (df=5, 351) = 4.12, p < .001} and marriage duration {F (df=5, 350) = 3.52, p < .001}
(see Table 2).
Post-hoc tests were computed to further determine the specific group differences for variables
with significant overall F values. Consistent with the descriptive analysis, couples from Malay-Chinese
(M-C) intercultural marriages were found to be significantly older as compared to other ethnicities
(mean differences: CMWife Age = 3.89, p ≤ .05; MAWife Age = 3.72, p ≤ .05; MAHusband Age = 4.03, p ≤ .05;
AMHusband Age = 6.16, p ≤ .01). As for educational background, it was noted that Other Bumiputra wives
(M-N) tended to be less educated as compared to Malay (C-M=-2.19, p≤.05) and Indian (M-I=-2.98,
p≤.05) wives in other intercultural marriages.

Table 2: Analysis of Variance for Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Intercultural Families from

Different Ethnic Backgrounds in Malaysia

All categories (N=357)

Df F-value Sig.
Personal characteristics
Current age (Wife) 5, 351 3.43 .005**
Current age (Husband) 5, 351 3.39 .005**
Age at marriage (Wife) 5, 348 0.49 .787
Age at marriage (Husband) 5, 348 2.73 .020*
Years of education (Wife) 5, 351 3.54 .004**
Years of education (Husband) 5, 351 2.34 .041*
Personal income (Wife) 5, 163 0.54 .744
Personal income (Husband) 5, 344 1.38 .232
Family characteristics
Family monthly income 5, 350 1.22 .298
No. of children 5, 348 0.82 .536
Period of Acquaintance (months) 5, 351 4.12 .001***
Marriage duration 5, 350 4.21 .001***
Note: Husband-wife ethnic categories = MC, CM, MA, AM, MI, IM

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Results also showed that couples in Malay–Other Bumiputras (M-N) marriages were more
likely to be younger, less educated and have a shorter acquaintance period as compared to couples in
Chinese and Malay Bumiputra marriages (Wife’s ageMA-MC = -3.72, p ≤ .05; Husband’s ageMA-MC = -
4.03, p ≤ .05; Wife’s educationMA-CM = -2.98, p ≤ .05; Acquaintance periodMA-MC = -13.81, p ≤ .001;
Acquaintance periodMA-CM = -10.65, p ≤ .05). The results also revealed that couples in C-M marriages
had significantly shorter marriage durations than those in I-M (mean differences = -4.49, p ≤ .05) and
M-C (mean differences = -4.97, p ≤ .001) marriages.
A large proportion (82.8%) of the intercultural marriages in the study comprised couples with
different religions-of-origin before they married (see Table 3). Couples in Malay Bumiputra and
Chinese marriages reported the highest percentage (more than 90%) of difference in religion. Results
from Cramer’s V were used to describe the association between a couple’s ethnic background and
religion-of-origin (Table 3). It was found that there was a significant association between the husband-
wife ethnic background and the religion-of-origin (Cramer’s V = 0.36, p < .001). The results indicate
that the intercultural marriages in the study also tended to be inter-religious marriages.

Table 3: Associations of Husband-Wife Ethnic Background and Religion-of-Origin for Intercultural

Marriages in Malaysia

Religion-of-origin, n (%)
Husband-Wife ethnic background Total, N (%)
Same Different
Malay Bumiputras -Chinese (MC) 6 (7.5) 74 (92.5) 80 (100)
Chinese-Malay Bumiputras (CM) 6 (8.7) 63 (91.3) 69 (100)
Malay Bumiputras –Other Bumiputras (MA) 8 (8.7) 84 (91.3) 92 (100)
Other Bumiputras -Malay Bumiputras (AM) 26 (29.7) 11 (70.3) 37 (100)
Malay Bumiputras -Indian (MI) 24 (46.9) 32 (57.1) 56 (100)
Indian-Malay Bumiputras (IM) 6 (26.1) 17 (73.9) 23 (100)
Total 61 (11.2) 296 (82.8) 357 (100)
Cramer’s V = 0.36 ***
Note: p< .001***

The non-parametric statistic, Cramer’s V, revealed a statistically significant association between

religious conversion and couple’s ethnic background for both husbands (Cramer’s V=0.77, p < .001)
and wives (Cramer’s V=0.74, p < .001) (see Table 4). In other words, a couple’s ethnic background
was found to be related to religious conversion before and after the couples married. Specifically, the
results revealed that husbands and wives from ethnic groups other than Malay such as Chinese, Indian
and Other Bumiputra have a stronger tendency to convert to another religion after they marry.

Table 4: Associations of Husband-Wife Ethnic Background and Conversion of Religion Following Marriage
Among Intercultural Married Couples from Malaysia

Conversion of religion after marriage, n (%)

Husband-Wife ethnic background Wife Husband
Yes No Yes No
Malay Bumiputras -Chinese (MC) 73 (91.3) 7 (8.7) 5 (6.3) 75 (93.7)
Malay Bumiputras-Other Bumiputra (MA) 86 (93.5) 6 (6.5) 49 (4.3) 88 (95.7)
Malay Bumiputras-Indian (MI) 14 (60.9) 9 (39.1) 2 (8.7) 21 (91.3)
Chinese-Malay Bumiputras (CM) 8 (11.6) 61 (80.4) 61 (88.4) 8 (11.6)
Other Bumiputras-Malay Bumiputras (AM) 6 (16.2) 31 (83.8) 28 (75.7) 9 (24.3)
Indian-Malay Bumiputras (IM) 8 (14.3) 48 (85.7) 33 (58.9) 23 (41.1)
Total 195 (54.6) 162 (45.4) 133 (37.3) 224 (62.7)
Cramer’s V = 0.77 *** Cramer’s V = 0.74 ***
Note: p< .001***; Conversion of religion refers to religion before and after intercultural marriage.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Discussion and Conclusion

The purpose of the paper was to explore variations in the socio-demographic characteristics of
intercultural marriages in Malaysia. Specifically, the paper discussed the impact of social context,
cultural preferences and religion on variations in socio-demographical characteristics. The majority of
intercultural marriages in the study were between the major ethnic groups in Malaysia, namely Malay,
Chinese, Indian and Natives. The findings were found to be similar to previous research findings in
South East Asia (Sanusi, 1981; Hassan & Benjamin, 1973; Hassan, 1971), proposing that intercultural
marriage in Malaysia is more common among the major ethnic groups.
The structuralist approach of intercultural marriage stresses that social acceptance of
intercultural marriages is due to socially-accepted interracial contact in social settings. Findings in the
current study revealed that almost half of the married individuals had at least one or more close family
members who had intermarried, lending support to the exposure and acceptance of interracial contact.
One interpretation of this finding is that individuals who are exposed to marriage beyond the ethnic
group when they are still young, may be more open to the idea of intercultural marriage later in life. On
the other hand, the early family experience of biculturalism may have influenced their decision to go
against the societal norm of racial endogamy. This finding is consistent with Cottrell’s (1990) study of
intercultural marriages among Indian and Western couples in the United States, which noted that
individuals who engaged in intercultural marriage came from families with previous intercultural
marriages. Another possible explanation is that as intercultural marriage increases, society becomes
more desensitized to what has been previously socially unacceptable among most of the general
population (Kouri & Lasswell, 1993).
Findings from the study also provide support for the Theory of Homogeneity, namely that
persons tend to marry others with similar social characteristics. Intercultural couples in the study were
found to have similar educational backgrounds and previous marital records, consistent with the
Theory of Homogeneity, which notes that similar educational attainment and marital history play a role
in the mate selection process. The findings are also in accordance with other intercultural marriage
studies from different settings such as those among Whites, African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian
Americans (Qian, 1999); and Black-White intermarried couples (Kouri & Lasswell, 1993). The
findings tend to suggest that educational homogeny is of greater importance than social origin
homogeny, such as race and class, in marriage selection.
Intercultural marriage, therefore, as with intra-cultural marriage, would appear to emphasize
spousal compatibility in education when ethnic background becomes less important. It could be argued
that educational attainment serves as a more accurate indicator for intercultural marriages as such a
factor does not vary over time in the same way as personal income and occupational status. A couple’s
occupational status may be different at the time of their meeting and after they get married. For
example, a woman might take the option of becoming a homemaker following marriage. This
explanation is supported by the data, indicating that most of the wives in intercultural marriages were
full-time home-makers at the time of the study.
On the other hand, significant differences were found in husband-wife personal characteristics
such as current age, age-at-marriage, personal income and religion before marrying. The nature of the
data may provide a plausible explanation for these findings. In addition, one should be cautious of the
cultural biases that might have contributed to different findings in comparison to the reviewed
research. Husbands in the study were generally older and married later in comparison to their wives.
Traditional family and cultural norms among Asian communities expect husbands to bear the primary
responsibility of taking care of the wife and family. Thus, it is common among Asian couples for
husbands to be older. Bounded by social norms, a husband is typically the main financial provider for
the family; thus, it is expected for men to marry at a later age after they have achieved a financial
stature capable of supporting a family. On the other hand, the current study’s findings of significant
differences in husband-wife personal incomes may be explained by the fact that a large proportion of

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

the wives were homemakers with earnings from part-time jobs only. The possibility that intercultural
marriages are facilitated by equal incomes of spouses was not supported by the current study data.
In comparison to study findings from American samples (Tzeng, 2000; Qian, 1999; Lewis et
al,. 1997), it was suggested that social similarities such as similar educational background may
override ethnic and cultural differences among intercultural couples. According to Tzeng (2000),
educational attainment may positively affect one’s probability of intercultural marriage. From the
structuralist point of view, intention to engage in a cross-cultural relationship may also be encouraged
by other factors such as familial and life experiences (Cottrell, 1990; Kannan, 1972), chance and the
opportunity to meet people from other ethnic backgrounds such as the workplace, school, university,
community or neighborhood (Yancey, 2002; Khatib-Chahidi et al., 1998). This may also imply that
those who inter-marry may not be influenced by ethnic factors when they choose their spouse from a
different ethnic group, and that their motivations are those factors that appear typical to most intra-
ethnic couples.
Structural theory is useful in describing the phenomenon of intercultural marriage among the
multicultural community in Malaysia. Structural theory suggests that increasing social interaction
among individuals from different ethnic backgrounds in modern society promotes intergroup relations
which, in turn, foster intermarriage (Beau, Becker & Fitzpatrick, 1984). If applied to the context of
intercultural marriages in Malaysia, the cultural pluralism that stresses the acceptance of various
ethnicities within the Malaysian community has shortened the social distances between persons from
different ethnic backgrounds and has even led to an indirect facilitation of marriage across cultural
boundaries. In general, social, economic and political environment changes provide some evidence that
the society has become more open and tolerant to racial and cultural heterogeneity (Spickard, 1989). In
relation to the Malaysian cultural context, pluralism has defined the existing social, economic and
political environment. The desegregated multicultural community in Malaysia (i.e. school, university,
workplace and neighborhood) has increased social propinquity across many areas of social life, thereby
providing evidence of decreasing social distances between different ethnic groups. Thus, it can be
argued that intercultural marriages in a multicultural setting will continue to rise as physical and social
barriers between peoples diminish, and the traditional approaches to mate selection will be replaced by
individual choice (Sung, 1990, as cited by Tzeng, 2000).
As expected, findings from the current study indicate variations in the socio-demographic
characteristics among intercultural couples, including age, age-at-marriage, educational attainment,
period of acquaintance and marriage duration. These findings suggest that variations among
intermarried individuals may be caused by ethnic differences in socio-demographic characteristics, e.g.
of Malay Bumiputras, Chinese, Indians and Other Bumiputras. These socio-demographic differences
may also reflect the role of traditional norms and cultural preferences in creating variations among
intercultural couples. For example, the traditional ideas about the ‘ideal’ marriage, parental concern
and opposition to marrying out of one’s ethnic group may cause couples from different ethnicities to
delay their marriage (Hassan & Benjamin, 1973; Kannan, 1972). This may lead to a longer period of
acquaintance and an older age before marriage in certain groups of mixed-marriage couples. For
example, Malay-Chinese intercultural marriage is assumed to be the most controversial and conflicting
with regard to religion, ethnic identity and cultural traditions. Both ethnic groups have very strong
family traditions and kinship ties, and it is extremely important for the members of each group to
preserve and pass on their cultural heritage from one generation to the next. Marrying into a different
ethnic group tends to lead to strong opposition from family members and a longer courting period
before marriage.
Cultural preference draws certain groups closer together if they share similar cultural values
and practices and, thus, intermarriage is more frequent between groups with similar racial and cultural
backgrounds (Fu & Heaton, 2000). When more than two groups are involved, there might be a gradient
of perceived closeness among the diverse groups. For intercultural marriage between Other Bumiputras
and Malay Bumiputras, for example, the similarities and common features, e.g. religion and physical

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

appearances (Leete, 1991) may buffer opposition and negative reactions from the families-of-origin;
thus mixed-marriages between the two ethnic groups might be more acceptable for their family
members. This helps to create a shorter courting period before marriage, as well as allowing marriage
at a younger age compared with other intermarrying couples. In intercultural marriages, the significant
difference in educational attainment among each partner may be caused by ethnic group expectations
in regard to educational attainment. In addition, Hassan and Benjamin (1973) have provided evidence
that variations in the socio-demographic characteristics of intercultural marriages may be influenced by
ethnic and religious factors.
Intercultural marriages in the study were found to be highest among the Malay Bumiputras,
who are Muslim, and the Chinese, who are mostly Buddhists. This indicates that these intercultural
couples also vary in their religion. This finding somewhat contradicts previous work carried out on
intercultural marriage in South East Asia (Edmonds, 1968; Kuo & Hassan, 1976). However, Lewis et
al. (1997) and Khatib-Chahidi et al. (1998)’s findings on Black/White marriages and intermarried
couples in the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively, indicated that marriage across
ethnicities/cultural divides involved different religions.
As for the role of religion in intercultural marriages, data from the current study revealed that
intermarried couples each professed a different religion-of-origin such as Islam, Christianity,
Buddhism, Hinduism and other traditional religions. This phenomenon was expected among the
participants because all intercultural marriages reported were between Malay Bumiputras, Chinese,
Indians and Other Bumiputras - the majority of whom profess different religions (Malaysian Census,
2000). Results showed the ethnic background of the couples to be highly associated with their
religions-of-origin. It can therefore be argued that intercultural marriage in Malaysia almost always
equates with inter-religious marriage. This implies that ethnicity and religion work hand-in-hand in
explaining the phenomenon of intercultural marriage in Malaysia.
Malaysia comprises a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society; people are free to choose,
practice and profess any custom, religion and cultural norm that they wish within certain identified
limits. Findings showed that intercultural couples, specifically individuals from Chinese, Indian and
Other Bumiputra backgrounds have stronger tendencies to convert to other religions after marrying.
This can be explained by religion and marriage law in Malaysia, as all Malays are Muslim by legal
definition. If one of the spouses in an intercultural marriage in Malaysia is Muslim, therefore, the other
non-Muslim spouse is expected to convert to Islam in order to legalize the marriage, as marriage
between a Muslim and a Non-Muslim is forbidden under the Islamic Family Law Act of 1984 (Ahmad,
1997). This has created the phenomenon of non-Muslim individuals who are engaged to Malay
Bumiputras converting to Islam when they decide to marry. As religion in Malaysia has close
connections with customs and cultural practices, especially among the Malay Bumiputras, conversion
to Islam tends to result in conformity to the Malay Bumiputra-Islamic cultural practices within the
newly formed intercultural families.
The study concludes that the intercultural marriages under study had dissimilar socio-
demographic characteristics but, interestingly, were found compatible in terms of educational
attainment. In general, the fact that the couples in the study had been exposed to intercultural marriages
within their families might have contributed to their own intercultural marriages. As for ethnic group
comparisons, the findings indicate the existence of variations in socio-demographic characteristics
among individuals from the various ethnic groups. This suggests the influence of ethnicity factors on
the background characteristics of intercultural marriages. Broadly speaking, the intercultural marriages
in the study tended to be inter-religious marriages, involving couples from Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism
and other traditional religions.
The literature review presented earlier included study findings from different cultural contexts
than that of Malaysia. Caution must be taken, therefore, in generalizing results from the present study
to other populations. The findings from the present study need to be explained within the cultural
context of the researched populations. In the present study, relationships between religion, ethnicity

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

and socio-demographic characteristics among intercultural couples were not conclusive and may differ
in other contexts (e.g. individuals with higher socio-economic status, ethnic groups with shorter social
distances, families living in more desegregated communities). Future research should explore potential
variations in these associations in different family types and situations.
As the research on intercultural marriage continues to grow, it is critical that one is aware of the
culture-sensitive issues when comparing the available literature and theories with current findings. It is
a mistake to assume that similar results would be expected from the study of a different cultural
background. Only through a more comprehensive understanding of this process will researchers and
practitioners be able to understand the phenomenon and development of the marriage institution across
ethnic boundaries.
The present findings have important implications for future research on intercultural marriage,
as well as for programs designed to encourage intercultural couples to assume a more active role in
promoting effective family development. To encourage involvement and to understand the different
ways in which intercultural couples are involved, researchers and practitioners must begin by exploring
a wide variety of factors that may influence cross-cultural marriage. This investigation is a step toward
bridging the gap between intercultural marriage and multiethnic communities, by examining patterns
of socio-demographic characteristics for both intercultural husbands and wives. The understanding and
exploration of intercultural marriage in different socio-cultural contexts can lead to future research and
family development programs that would be most beneficial to future generations of mixed

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Ahmad, I. (1997). Family law in Malaysia. Singapore: Butterworths Asia
[2] Benoktratis, N. (1993). Marriages and families: Chances, choice and constraints. Englewood
Cliff, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
[3] Blau, P. (1977). Inequality and heterogeneity. New York: Free Press.
[4] Beau, P. M., Becker, C. & Fitzpatrick, K. M. (1984). Intersecting social affiliations and
intermarriage. Social Forces, 62 (3), 585-606.
[5] Cottrell, A. B. (1990). Cross-national marriages: A review of the literature. Journal of
Comparative Family Studies, 21 (2), 151-169.
[6] Djamour, J. (1965). Malay kinship and marriage in Singapore. London: Athlone Press.
[7] Edmonds, J. (1968). Religion, intermarriage and assimilation: The Chinese in Malaya. Race,
10, 57-68.
[8] Fu, X. & Heaton, T. B. (2000). Status exchange in intermarriage among Hawaiians, Japanese,
Filipinos & Caucasians in Hawaii: 1983-1994. Journal of Comparative Family Study, 31 (1),
[9] Harris, T. M. & Kalbfleisch, P. J. (2000). Interracial dating: The implications of race for
initiating a romantic relationship. The Howard Journal of Communication, 11, 49-64.
[10] Hassan, R. & Benjamin, G. (1973). Ethnic outmarriage rate in Singapore: Traditional socio-
cultural organization. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 35 (4), 731-738.
[11] Kannan, C. T. (1972). Inter-racial marriages in London: A comparative study. London: SW
(Litho) Printers.
[12] Khatib-Chahidi, J., Hill, R. & Paton, R. (1998). Chance, choice and circumstance: A study of
women in cross-cultural marriages. In R. Breger & R. Hill (eds.), Cross-Cultural Marriage:
Identity and Choice (pp. 49-66). NY/Oxford: Berg.
[13] Kuo, E. C. Y. & Hassan, R. (1976). Some social concomitant of interethnic marriage in
Singapore. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38 (3), 549-559.
[14] Kouri, K. M. & Lasswell, M. (1993). Black-White marriages: Social change and
intergenerational mobility. Marriage & Family Review, 19 (3-4), 241-255.
[15] Kvaraceus, W. (1969). Negro self-concept: Implication for school and citizenship. New York:
[16] Leete, R. (1996). Malaysia demographic transition: Rapid development, culture and politics.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[17] Lewis, Jr. R., Yancey, G. & Bletzer, S. S. (1997). Racial and nonracial factors that influence
spouse choice in Black/White marriage. Journal of Black Studies, 28(1), 60-79.
[18] Qian, Z. (1999). Who intermarries? Education, nativity, region and interracial marriage, 1980
and 1990. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 30(4), 579-.
[19] Romano, D. (2001). Intercultural marriage: Promise & pitfalls (2nd Ed.). Maine: Intercultural
[20] Rosenblatt, P. C., Karis, T. A. & Powell, R. D. (1995). Multiracial couples: Black & white
voices. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[21] Sanusi, D. (1981). Perkahwinan antara etnik: Satu kajian di bandar Melaka, Ikatan Etnik dan
Kelas, 76-83.
[22] Silcock, T. H. (1963). Communal and party structure in T.H. Silcock and R. Fisk (eds.), The
Political Economy of Independent Malaya, Canberra: Australian National University Press.
[23] Spickard, P. R. (1989). Mixed blood: Intermarriage and ethnic identity in twentieth-century
America. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
[24] Surra, C. A. (1990). Research and theory on mate selection and premarital relationships in the
1980s. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52, 844-856.
[25] Tan, C. B. (1993). Chinese Peranakan heritage in Malaysia and Singapore. Kuala Lumpur:
Fajar Bakti.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[26] Tizard, B. & Phoenix, A. (1993). Black, White of mixed race? Race and racism in the lives of
young people of mixed parentage. New York: Routledge.
[27] Tzeng, J. M. (2000). Ethnically heterogamous marriages: The case of Asian Canadians. Journal
of Comparative Family Studies, 31(3), 320-337.
[28] Whyte, M. K. (1990). Dating and mating and marriage. New York: Aldine.
[29] Yancey, G. A. (2002). Who interracially dates: An examination of the characteristics of those
who have interracially dated. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 33(2), 179-190.
[30] _____________ (2000). Malaysian Housing and Population Census. Kuala Lumpur:
Department of Statistics, Malaysia.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Conscience and Social Acceptability among the

Ibani in Niger Delta, Nigeria

Jones M. Jaja
Institute of Foundation Studies (IFS)
Rivers State University of Science & Technology, P.M.B. 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
E-mail: Jonesalali@yahoo.com
Tel: 08033168998, 08056049778

The paper examines the notion of conscience in the enthronement of morality among the
Ibani. It argues that social Institutions such as traditional education, family and the
community alone are inadequate in the evolution and transformation of the moral man. It
posits that the acceptance and self-knowledge of the Almightiness of the Divine Creator
(DC) an all embracing power transforms the individual as the Spark of God (SG) enables
the conscience discern moral decision.

Mie nye (character) among the Ibani is the essence of a person’s being. The Ibani are the group of
immigrants from the central Delta who today are found in the present Bonny and Opobo Kingdoms
close to the Atlantic. The Kingdoms thrived on the Palm Oil trade in the sixteenth and Nineteenth
centuries, where they were affected by Ibo cultural influences.1 The Ibani is one of the culture groups
inhabiting the Niger Delta, of Nigeria. An area that is a bedrock of crisis on account of the under
development, environmental degradation, oil pollution and total neglect by oil prospecting companies.
Recently, the Niger Delta has become the Centre of hostage taking and kidnapping for ransom.2
Among the Ibani a person with mie nye (character) is one with qualities and behaviour that conform
with accepted practices as distinct from those that are bad. ibi miénye is good character such as
hospitality, respect, generosity, protection of women, opposition to violence, opposition to selfishness,
opposition to vandalization, regard for hard work and honour, chastity before marriage and
condemnation of homosexuals etc.
When one is said to have ibi mieye (good character) it means the individual displays qualities or
have some attributes which conform with his/her being adjudged to be good as distinct from those that
are bad. Indeed mie nye (character) is the very essence that makes life joyful,. It give acceptability,
good wishes and prayers. It is what differentiates a human being from an animal. But what determines
mie nye (character)? Is it possible for mie nye (character) to act independently? mie nye (character) is
determined by conscience – a thought process, which provides a moral guide for our conduct3.
Conscience therefore guides man to make informed independent moral decision. Conscience is a mode
of consciousness or thoughts about ones own value or dis-value4. Conscience is the Centre of self-
assessment, self-criticism and self-appraisal. Among the Ibani, conscience possesses a distinctive

The Ibani are located in two large city-states in the Niger Delta, close to the Atlantic. The Kingdoms thrived on the
Palm Oil trade in the 16th and 19th centuries. See also Jones M. Jaja and Kingdom Orji (2006) Impact of Colonial Rule
on the Pre-colonial Ndoki Economy 1840 – 1960 in Journal of Nigerian Languages and Culture – Jonlac No. 10. Vol. 1
It is estimated that in 2006 alone more than 150 expatriates had been kidnapped and released after payment of
unspecified amount, running into millions of Naira.
Locke, J. (1979) An Essay concerning Human Understanding, the Clarendon press, Oxford.
Childless, J.F. (1979) Appeal to conscience. Ethics
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

critical/evaluative character often employed in assessment and critical value judgement. The
conscience guides one in deliberations of what is good or bad actions and beliefs.
Consciences not only make for individual choice, but promotes good relations among people.
For instance, when one maltreats another, he is asked how it would be like if he/she was at the
receiving end. This is an expression of the saying “do unto others as you would wish them to do unto
you – the golden rule.” This is a clear expression of the role of conscience in promoting good
neighbourliness, good relations and happiness among people.
Among the Ibani, culture and tradition also account for the cultivation of conscience. Culture
refer to the whole social practice giving meaning that accompanies all social actions and makes it
socially meaningful and not mere biologically based reflex or personal habit5. The meaning, dimension
is a matter of everyday practices and comes up more explicitly when one is faced with difficult
situations like injustice, suffering, dilemma or anomaly. The cultural dimension of social practice is
often undefined that it leaves room for quite a number of possible interpretations. Patterns of action are
susceptible to change6 in the course of further actions, they are not fixed. For example bribery or graft
may change along with the changes of its forms in practice and its growing complexity thereby
changing its meaning. New Practice brings with it additional alterations and unexpected twists to pre-
established meanings. It is therefore difficult to control the meaning of a particular belief or value.
On the other hand, tradition implies specific way of coping with the diversities that have
emerged in the course of history. It is something invented, not stumbled upon or received. It is a
product of human decision in a significant sense7. The material that are handed down8 and over to one
time and place from some other time and place are always much more numerous than those labelled
“tradition”. Tradition is often a selection from the wide array of material; often a matter of human
attribution. Such selection must be informed by need and must fit in without requiring a total change of
already existing way of life9. According to Curtin,
If new political features are copied, we can expect to find a local development that
needed the support of symbols, roles or structural elements to bolster its own authority.
But the basis for that authority must have been there all along, and it must have roots in
the local society – its economy, its social structure, its religion its value system10.
Even on going customary forms of action and belief do not constitute tradition until they are
marked as such and assigned a normative status. What materials is designated “tradition” is a matter of
human judgement, which is based on a contestable claim for their centrality or importance in the life of
a group. It is important to note that traditional education inculcates values of society into children born
into the society and is believed to be an important agent of moral upbringing. It is however necessary
to point out that it is not all the norms inculcated into a people are used in the guidance of their
conduct. Whereas some are imbibed, others may change with time and circumstances or may not even
be used at all. This is so in view of the evolutionary nature of our moral ideas. For instance a persons
moral principle today may be a completely different thing the next day. An indication that the values
from the socializing agents such as tradition, can change in view of the dynamic nature of morality.

Gudsdorf G.P. (1980) Anthropology. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica vol. 1. Chicago: Cambridge University Press
Mccall, D.F. (1969) Africa in Time Perspective. New York, Oxford University Press.
See Eric Hobsbawn and Terence Ranger (ed.) (1983) The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge University Press.
See Carr, E.H. (1968). Argues that history begins with the handing down of tradition, and tradition means the carrying
of the habits and lessons of the past into the future. This means, the records of the past are kept for the benefits of
future generations.
Most scholars now agree that each culture represents an original development, conditioned by its social and
geographical environment. Each culture is also conditioned by the manner in which it uses and enriches the materials
that comes to it from outside (through diffusion).
Curtin, P. et al (1978) African History, London, Longman.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

The family is another factor that instills the development of conscience among the Ibani. The
Ibani family is composed of not only the nucleus or immediate family, but also the extended family 11.
This close family unit because of the structure of life in the community brings them together more
often. The family becomes an important agent of socialization. In these formative years of the child,
the family plays a crucial role in the development of moral consciousness. Through social interaction,
habits, norms, customs prevailing in the society are imbibed and the moral attitude of society begin to
Despite the fact that moral values are rooted in society, not all value systems became imbibed
by individuals. This is known as selective acquisition of values. Values change according to
circumstance, age or evolutionary trends. This re-enforces the dynamic nature of morality. An
individual that develops conscience is said to have kukubie, which gives social acceptability in society.
A person with good character is said to be well trained or from a good home - furo tuo. The concept ibi
mienye (good character) refer to one who aspires to enable others achieve their life aspirations, but
knows the social requirement of society at any given circumstance. This is one whose moral or ethical
sense is not only high it has not been changed by the dynamic nature of society.
However, the furo tuo (well bred or son of the soil) concept is receiving serious knocks from
the twin actions of modernity and westernization12. The quest for socio-economic achievement and
individualism has gradually eroded the furo tuo concept. Although the conscience still remain an
important factor in moulding the individual into a true furo tuo. As the conscience is developed the
social institution gradually takes shape, since the family also constitute part of society’s social
institutions which formulates moral beliefs that guide the conduct of every body in the society13.

Individual and Morality

Individuals must be guided by the interest of others in any social relations. Among the Ibani,
individuals made efforts to cultivate good relations. People willingly sacrifice their freedom for the
common good. They must ensure that their beliefs, actions and judgement are such that could be seen
and adjudged good or bad. Moral judgement is important for the individual despite the fact that society
play important role in its existence14. It would be erroneous to view morality as entirely social in
foundation. No doubt society enthrones the apparatus for it existence, and systematically implants in
everyone in the society its moral codes15.
Having said that, the thorny question now is what is the source/origin of morality? The notion
of morality having a societal source lack the explanation of what makes morality reasonable, what
gives it its notion of value, or what gives it its quality of goodness. The point being made is that the
origin of morality may be independent of the reason that morality has some value – short of
questioning its source, it is reasonable to conclude that society’s sense of solidarity and preservation is
based on some social factors adequately harnessed by the collective conscience of the people16.

The extended family system has collapsed as far back as the 1970. Western education, Christianity and the need for
paid employment have totally disrupted the family system.
See Ade – Ajayi, J.F. (1965) Christian Missions in Nigeria, 1841 – 1891. Longman. See also Ayandele, E.A. (1966)
The missionary impact on Modern Nigeria 1842 – 1914, London; Anene, J.C.(1966) Southern Nigeria in Transition,
1885 – 1906, Cambridge.
Among the Yoruba ancestors exist as Guardian of Domestic Morality and Preserver of Sound Family Tradition. See
Idowu, B.E. (1962) Olodumare God in Yoruba belief. Longman Group Ltd.
Abimbola, W (ed.) 1975 Yoruba Oral Traditions Ife: Department of African Languages and Literature.
See Jaja, J.M. (1995) Opobo: A Cultural History 1870 – 1980 unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Port
Harcourt, Nigeria.
Barth, F. (1969) Ethnic Groups and Boundaries Boston; Little Brown.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Social Grouping and Conscience

Social grouping and cultural boundaries give qualitative demarcation or identity. Members do virtually
every thing everyone in other societies do, whether in education economic, familial or political
functions. Social groups function as an association rather than as a separate entity. And they mostly
incorporate many elements borrowed from others in the “wider” society and mould them to their own
needs. Moreover, social groups are usually not separated by a natural break in social interaction simply
because they have to interact with one another. In this connection conscience is but a matter of
allegiance to certain standards or moral orientations and not isolation.
Besides no social group has a monopoly of what is right and proper or the various elements that
make up its way of life; these elements cross social boundaries and are applied by particular groups in
one way or another. For any social group, therefore, the standards of judgement for determining the
meaning and plausibility of moral attitude are those internal to the practices themselves. More over,
becoming or cultivating conscience is something akin to primary socialization17. Learning to listen to
your conscience is like learning a second language. One learns a second language in the same way one
learns the first, by an intensive association with a close-knit group of people who already speak it, and
conscience like languages can be understood only in its terms18. To know the meaning of conscience
among a group for example, would be meaningless outside; rather to look at the use of the term within
a social group would be more meaningful19. The way the term features in stories, beliefs and behaviour
of a group is all that matters20.
Conscience is not an individual affair, it is cultivated in everybody through certain social
institutions. Through these institutions, moral norms, rules of conduct, standards of evaluation and the
mechanism for the control of human behaviour are implanted in everybody. Through this process,
everyone becomes aware of what conscience is in Ibani society. Indeed during the process of
development and regulation of human behaviour, there is the evolution of a sense of shared moral
beliefs. Conscience regulates the behaviour of members of the society without recourse to coercion. In
other words, creating an enabling environment where individuals can effectively develop their
conscience becomes the social responsibility of all21. Good conscience leads to the practice of virtue,
the right conduct in life and manners, the science of improving the temper and making the heart better.
But good character can only strive in an atmosphere devoid of negative social relations.

Religion and Conscience

In present day Ibani and indeed the world over, there exist a growing revival of religion. This is a
blessing, as it tends to bring about harmony in the attitude of man to his fellow man. The acceptance of
Jesus Christ is an attempt to re-align the heart of people to God. The Bible becomes their guide in their
daily activities. This change which some see as a painful spiritual process, is one of the forces that had
helped shape and evolve the Ibani culture. Believing in God and His essence is a Universal concept.
God is Divine, and the truth is that once this Divine Energy (DE) of Divine Christ (DC) an all
embracing power comes into the human body the earnestness and passion to live and be in the spirit of
the Divine Energy is the first sign of transformation and acceptance of His will. Once that spirit of
Christ that raises the consciousness or awareness to a higher level, - that is the level of the spirit is

Wiredu, K. (1992) “The Moral Foundation of an African Culture in Wiredu and Gyekwe (ed.).
Mclntyre, A (1988) “A Second first language in whose justice”? Which Rationality? Notre Dame: University of Notre
Dame Press.
Jaja, J.M.(1996) The Cultural Historian and the role of inculcation of Nigerian Culture in School Children in JOTASE –
Journal of Technical and Science Education. Vol. 1 and 2.
Akin Wowo, A.A (1990) “Contributions to the Sociology of Knowledge from an African Oral Poetry. See also Afolabi
Ojo (1966) Yoruba Culture. University of Ife and University of London Press Ltd.
Nwigwe, B.E. (1994), Ideological links Between Christianity and Greek Philosophy. Port Harcourt. Hercon Press Ltd.
See also Eboh, M.P. (1993) Introduction to Philosophy and Philosophizing. Claretian Institute of Philosophy,
Maryland, Nelcede, Owerri.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

attained, one see things differently. It is only when one lives in the spirit, that the spirit – the spark of
God (SG) takes control of the conscience – the inner voice (IV), defeating and reducing the material
development (MD) or ego, leading to a moral and acceptable life in society.
The conscience comes alive once the truth is revealed. Rosmini – Serbati has it that truth is
reduced to system by organizing single truths among themselves, showing the intimate links that unite
one to the other22. Truth St. Augustine says must be avidly accepted wherever it may be found. God is
truth23. He is the Divine Energy whose manifestation is the infinite universe and whose super
consciousness permeates all there is with ever increasing clarity of the mystery of Christ, which affects
the whole course of human history24. God is a universal value. Perhaps, a more effective way of
driving home the point being made here, is to state that this enormous consciousness (conscience) is
the only way to make man live a moral life, since in Genesis (6:5-6) “God saw that the wickedness of
man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil
continually”25. In order words, the conscience is to guide man to live ethical life, to what is good or
bad. It is innate, the inner attribute of God to direct man to himself because God is good. Any man who
behaves wickedly and shamelessly is said to have no conscience. Therefore, conscience is the ultimate
moral authority.

Conscience is precisely what constitutes this task. Traditional education, family, communities are not
the ultimate source of morality but rather God working through the conscience. Religion has its role to
play. It made man discover himself, develop his conscience, making him a better citizen of the society
and the world. The knowledge of God has transformed the people to a higher level of super
consciousness of the Divine spirit (DS), where the conscience directs, dampens and controls our ego so
that the higher self (HS) will prevail subjugating the material development (MD) at all times. The
Spirit guides one constantly in the determination of the rightness and appropriateness of our decisions
and actions. Living in the spirit is tantamount to being a co-creator in active form. Because being in the
spirit makes one operate in the level of God and see things from Gods perspective.

Rosmini – Serbati (1977) Dizionarw Filosofico, a cura D, Giulio Banafede, Fiamma Serafica di Palermo.
St. Augustine, The Confessions Book 1, 1
Flannery A (ed.) (1977) Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, Costello Publishing
Company New York.
Bible, The.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Cultural Dynamics and Globalization in Multi-Ethnic Nigeria

Jones M. Jaja
Senior Lecturer Institute of Foundation Studies
Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
E-mail: jonesalali@yahoo.com

Introduction: Nation State and Cultural Plurality

The Nation State pattern adopted by Britain in Nigeria has exerted a powerful influence upon Nigeria’s
attempt to build nation out of the multi ethnic populations that have been arbitrarily carved out. In
Nigeria the European ideal of a nation state has led to the search for a single language and culture
leading to the increased recognition given to three major languages – Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, thus
creating uncertainties about the future roles of other cultural forms that do not fit the chosen dominant
These formally “submerged” nations are now claiming their cultural rights and searching for an
escape route from cultural suffocation within the confines of the mono-cultural nation state. Through
the breaking down of national territories, the forces of globalism have created conditions for the
renaissance of local cultures and ethnic identity.
The Nigerian Nation is facing the pressure of economic, cultural and political globalization.
The paradox has unleashed forces that appear to herald the convergence of cultures through the
homogeneous effect of mass media and information technology explosion while at the same time
contributing to conditions that create opportunities for cultural resistance to such trends by firmly
entrenched local cultures.
These cultures, which were assumed docile or dormant, are proving their extraordinary
resilience by voicing demands for cultural and political autonomy from the nation state. Such local
demands which originate mainly from old historical/regional minorities or submerged nation states
have been influenced by forces of economic globalization.
In fact the extent of transformation by a global economic system and a variety of other trans-
national processes is still unfolding. Sassen (2000) has shown that the states regulatory role and its
autonomy have been weakened through the privatization of public sector activities and economic
deregulation. This results in the virtual privatization of governance functions affecting such state
regulations over policy and its implementations.

Nigeria’s Cultural Plurality an Ideal

There is little doubt in the minds of some nationalists that the Nigerian experiment has been disastrous.
Basically, because the cultural heterogeneous ethnic groups had not benefited economically as the
larger ethnic groups inspite of the fact that the huge resources that propel the nation stem from their
land. It had of recent led to crisis and conflict.
Conflicts arising from long-term subjugation of national/ethnic groups in the Niger Delta and
some groups in the North are deemed to have led to an alarming crisis situation.
In this ethnically pluralistic setting where the resources of the nation had not been fairly or
equitably shared for the development of the society, it provides a fragmentation alternative. The
Biafran incident readily comes to mind whereby each national entity seeks a separate and independent
state hood.
The focus of these fragmentation alternatives is usually a vain, and fruitless search for a mono-
cultural, mono-national and mono lingual state, - a most doubtful and culturally limiting ideal,
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

practically impossible to achieve and which the current globalize momentum makes both economically
and practically irrational and impossible.
It must be emphasized that Nigerian multi-cultural, pluralist dilemma is facing many countries
of the world as each of them is moulding historically, demographically and economically in a different
way and carries the load of its own unique traditions.
Nigeria, though Federal is “oppressive” of smaller cultural identities and is currently seeking
ways of settling its internal pluralistic dilemmas through the national political reform conference. This
process of finding a constitutional framework between the cultural rights of the state is a great
challenge because of the dissatisfaction of a greater part of the smaller ethnic minorities over political
marginalization, economic deprivation and exploitation.
To achieve stability, the Nigerian nation need to ensure that regionally and cultural ethnic
groups or identities feel secure within it. They must be convinced that the discrimination, exploitation,
dominance and even persecution of the past are not an option which dominant groups Hausa, Yoruba,
Igbo would wish to repeat in future.
Although the middle belt can be said to have benefited from their association with the Hausa
dominated North, their present attempt to carve out their separate identity despite the reasonably
“satisfactory” economic and cultural association show how past wrongs still weigh too deeply on the
emotions for the past to be forgotten.
The solution to pluralist dilemmas is not to be found in the fragmentation of multi-ethnic states
into even smaller and less viable nation states but in politically and culturally, stable cohesive societies
that recognize and accept their pluralist makeup through constructing multi-cultural nation states that
respect cultural and linguistic diversity within a wider regional community.
It is clear that a nation-state in the form in which it was conceived originally, that is a mono-
national entity equipped with all the centralizing powers of sovereignty is a thing of the past.

Globalization and Third World Development

Most Third World Countries especially those in Africa operate pre-industrial economies. With the
abundance of arable land and raw materials, including the highly priced natural resources – crude oil,
coal and hydo-electricity, the continent is the most enviable part of the planet. Paradoxically, these
countries have not been able to take advantage of their natural endowments. That is, they have failed to
evolve societies that could meet locally their basic developmental needs. What exist in the living
conditions of African countries are all the indices of impoverishment. The World Bank notes that the
worlds population is approximately 6 billion, almost half 2.8 billion live in poverty, on less than 2
dollars a day World Bank 2001/2002. Of these, 1.2 billion or about 20% live in extreme poverty, i.e. on
less than 1 dollar a day. In developed countries, one out of one hundred children die before the age of
5. On the other hand the 20 richest countries have a per capita income 30 times higher than that of the
world’s 20 poorest countries and the gap continues to widen.
Third world countries must industrialize to open the floodgates to series of amenities that would
provide a better meaning for existence. Globalization therefore provides such an opportunity. Foreign
Direct investment would provide rapid economic development through the injection of massive capital,
expertise and technology, which unfortunately are lacking in third world countries. The opening of
economies of third world countries to the developed world have the advantage of making third world
countries more active in the international trade and absorb more capital in the form of direct investment
from developing countries. Some of the specific benefits include; capital inflow, which adds to the
domestic supply of savings thereby generating new investments. With such for example in Nigeria,
Nigeria’s balance of payment would breath a sign of relief. When gross profits from such investments
are re-invested, taxes would be collected by government, leading to higher revenue. Nigeria would in
addition, benefit from the level of technological transfer. New skills and knowledge would be imparted
to local employee through training and development. Industries that would be the outcome of direct

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

investments would provide employment opportunities to the recipient state. (Temple, 1999;
Mabogunje, A.L., 1980)
These corporations have also been known to provide essential amenities especially to host
communities such as health care, scholarships and other issues that are directly relevant to the common
people. Thus, the need for FDI cannot be overemphasized. No country has ever achieved economic
success in isolation. With the intensification of integration, some underdeveloped countries managed to
reduce development gap between them and the industrialized countries Temple 1999. There are the
spectacular achievement’s of the “Asian tigers”: Hong Kong, South Korea, Tai-wan and Singapore
followed more recently by China and other Asian countries World Bank 1998-1999.
The number of people who live in poverty i.e below 1 dollar per day decreased from 420 to 280
million in the past decade. However, this is not exactly the case in African countries, with an even
lower GNP in the sub-Saharan African countries World Bank 2000/2001. Throughout the period, Latin
and Central American countries showed lower developmental rate than industrialized countries.
Therefore, closing developmental gap would be impossible without the benefits that come from
participating in the international division of labour, supplementing domestic savings with foreign
capital inflow and above all, improving technology and organization through direct investment.
Globalization therefore provides developing countries with the only chance to reduce and
eliminate developmental disparities. It was this disparity in development that informed Pope John Paul
II’s call on politicians and economic elites to show solidarity with the poor by bringing about a
fundamental change in their situation. It must however be pointed out that although liberalization is
extremely profitable, it is also risky in terms of financial and currency crisis especially to countries
inadequately prepared for the liberalization of capital Rogoff 1999. This particularly applies to
countries with underdeveloped capital markets, a weak institutional structure in the banking and
financial sectors, unstable macro economic policies. Systems promoting openness in their domestic
economies and freedom of international transactions undoubtedly, bring greater economic benefits than
systems which isolate their economies and restrict the international movement of capital Obsfeld 1999,
Sachs 1988.

Cultural Globalization
The benefits that arise from globalization spur development in general. The disappearance of space as a
significant factor means not only increased opportunity for the movement of goods, capital, money but
also information, ideas, television images and individuals. International interdependence increases as
certain cultural patterns and behaviour are disseminated, moulding mass culture all over the world.
Regardless of geographical location, people are clothed in a similar way; in T-shirts, jeans and tennis
shoes. Billions watch the world cup, Wimbleton and French opens, other major leagues or major
American soap operas simultaneously.
People know faces of major film stars, musicians more than faces of politicians and
personalities in their own country. There is no doubting the fact that globalization is an ever-growing
phenomenon which today is inevitable. Nigeria seems to have caught a large dose of the “global
epidemic”. One appreciates the positive aspects of borrowing but when it becomes persuasive and
unilateral there is cause for worry. For instance, the kind of information and programmes radiating
from the Nigerian television, western ideas, lifestyles and values, have intoxicated the Nigerian youth
and indeed young Africans. This is clearly evident in the one-sided flow of globalization. Its present
nature makes it impossible for African countries to counter the cultural penetration or the negative
pictures painted by the western media.
Basically, there is nothing wrong in emulating but every emulation must be critically reflected
upon and structures and policies put in place to check the negative impact of unhindered erosion of
Nigerians cherished cultural values and tradition. The point must be made that every culture group is

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

unique with different ideologies. These differences must be appreciated and encouraged to strive,
therein lay the beauty of human diversity.
The negative impact of globalization has also been witnessed in Nigeria’s human capital. The
immense brain drain of the best and brightest into the developed countries has robbed the nation of the
services of the very citizens who could have contributed most to human resource development of the
country. This immigration abroad could also be explained by lack of employment and the reluctance of
the Nigerian nation to recognize and utilize such talents.
The onus therefore is on the leadership of the Nigeria nation. Globalization is
deterritorialization, and this refers to a “reconfiguration of geography” so that social space is not
defined through distance and borders the rise of international organizations. Nigeria must diversify its
economy if it must reduce the negative impact of globalization, and oil explorations on the
environment. It must also ensure that agricultural development does not affect the environment
One good thing going for Nigeria is its market – its population. Nigeria must strive to build
companies that could provide services to the country and to other African nations. That would boost
the African economy and nourish relationships with other Africa nations. The South African example
through the MTN a major cellular phone provider in Nigeria should be a challenge to Nigeria. Within a
few months of its operation in Nigeria, it generated over 350 million pounds in business.
Nigeria must take advantage of the newest partnership for Africa – NEPAD. The New
Partnership for Africa’s Development NEPAD is a program developed by African leaders and
spearheaded by President Obasanjo and President Mbeki of South Africa. It seeks to restore stability,
peace and security and to promote good governance and leadership. Moreover, NEPAD wishes to
provide a catalyst for the resumption of sustainable development, reduce power and unemployment,
consolidate democratic gain and reconfigure the global financial structure. The partnership seeks to
gain political consensus on reforms; to essentially speak with one clear African voice that stands
against creditors, development partners and international financial institutions This Day, December 13,
Although its ambition is a tall one with an uncertain future, its success, however marginal
would encourage future partnership and speak volumes about the strength of African indigenous

The globalization process no doubt will continue to intensify as technology continues to change.
Globalization is the result of technological progress which today, unites people making space disappear
as a factor that separates people from one another. It was human intellect that drove technological
progress, leading people to make choices that are beneficial for them personally, and for society
generally. That is why the processes that are currently integrating the world will continue, despite the
setbacks that occur now and then. In reality, the world is more interconnected now than at any other
time in human history.
But globalization cannot totally erase cultural plurality in nation states like Nigeria. However, it
would ensure more tolerance and stability as cultural groups attempt to forge economic and cultural
associations that respect political linguistic and cultural plurality.
Liberalization has increased particularly in the developing world and internationalization is
certainly increasing. International trade and interdependence are trademarks of globalization, and
countries like Nigeria cannot escape from or wish it away. Nigeria must put policies in place and be
prepared and ready to cooperate with other countries experiencing negative impacts of globalization to
change the dynamics of the process for the benefits of its citizens.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Dogun M (1993): "Comparing the Decline of Nationalism in Western Europe: The
Generational Dynamics" International Social Science Journal. 36.
[2] Feenstra Robert (1999): "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global
Economy" Journal of Economic Perspective, 12 (4).
[3] Hunting, Samuel P. (1996): “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order”
New York Simon and Schuster
[4] Huntington, Samuel P (1996) The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
Simon and Schuster, New York.
[5] Howe, G. (2000): Reining in Globalization for the Benefit of all, Earth Times New Service, 15
December 2000.
[6] IMF 1996 World Economic Outlook Washington DC October
[7] Jones M. Jaja (2004): Globalization Nigerian Culture and Development, Journal of
Management Sciences, 4. (2).
[8] Mabogunje, A.L. (1980): The Development Process: A Spatial Perspective. Hutchinson
[9] Martin, Khor (2000): Gobalization and the South: Some Critical Issues. Spectrum books Ltd.
Ibadan. Nigeria.
[10] Obsfeld, Maurice, 1999 “The Global Capital Market: Benefactor or Menace” The Journal of
Economic Perspective 12
[11] Rogoff, Keneth, (1999): “International Economic Unlocking the Mysteries of Globalization”
Institutions for Reducing Global Financial Instability. The Journal of Economic Perspective, 13
[12] Sacks, Jeffrey, 1988): “International Economic Unlocking the Mysteries of Globalization”
Policy 110 Spring Reprinted in: O’Meara P, Mehlinger H.D., Krain M. Globalization and the
Challenges of a New Century, Indiana University Press, Bloomington in 2000.
[13] Sassen S. (2000): Beyond Sovereignty: De facto Transformation in Immigration Policy, in E.
Ben-rafael and Y. Sternberg (eds), Identity, Culture and Globalization, The Annals of the
International Institute of Sociology, New Series-. 8, Leiden, Boston, Kolin: Brill.
[14] Smith, A.D. (1986): The Ethnic Organ of Nations, London Basil Blackwell.
[15] Temple, Jonathan, (1999): “The new Growth Evidence“ Journal of Economic Literature.
XXXVII (1) March.
[16] World Development Report 1995 p.45.
[17] World Bank (1998/1999): Knowledge for Development; New York: Oxford University Press.
[18] World Bank (1998/1999): Knowledge for Development; New York: Oxford University Press.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Interdisciplinary Methods for the Writing of

African History: A Reappraisal

Jones M. Jaja
Institute of Foundation Studies, Rivers State University of Science & Technology
PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
E-mail: Jonesalali@yahoo.com
Tel: 08033168998, 08056049778

Before the 1950s and early 1960s historians did not feel any compulsion to adopt the theories and
methods of other disciplines for the interpretation of the African past. They seemed to have believed
that history as a method can provide all the answers required for the reconstruction of the past. This
feeling was largely wrong.
Not surprisingly, historians from the mid sixties and the early 1970s began to look for
alternative or complementary methods from sister disciplines to supplement their attempt to understand
the past. Before we go into examining these alternative methods we must state why historians felt the
need to adopt interdisciplinary techniques for the analysis of human affairs.

The Need for Interdisciplinary Techniques

There were many reasons for adopting interdisciplinary dimensions to the study of African history.
1) First was the fact that a large chunk of the African fast was still unwritten and there was the
need to resort to disciplines whose methodologies were pre-historic by nature.
2) Second was the fact that Oral Traditions, which have ameliorated the problem of inadequate
written materials, (Vansina 1973; Alagoa 1971) are problematic in many ways (Murdock 1959:
(a) Often they do not go back more than a few thousand years into the past
(b) They are sometimes distorted due to the use of such traditions as charters for
legitimizing the past and present circumstances of ruling dynasties and
(c) They do not provide adequate chronologies for determining periodization or
different stages in the development of human activities.
3) Thirdly, the available written texts have their own problems.
(a) The indigenous texts such as the Vrai or the Insibidi are too esoteric to be
meaningful to the historian not familiar with the religious or graphical symbols
associated with them.
(b) The foreign texts, apart from being too recent, are sometimes too biased because
they were written by Arab and European Imperialists who used them to justify their
political activities in Africa.
By and large, interdisciplinary perspectives were adopted because of the need to circumvent the
problems associated with oral and written sources or the necessity to check and cross-check their
validity so as to provide a more convincing basis for interpreting the past.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Types of Interdisciplinary Methods

There are different methods used by historians to supplement information gathered from written and
oral sources. These include, among others, linguistic techniques archeological techniques, biological
techniques and techniques from social anthropology. All these techniques have been used in various
ways for the study of West African History. But how? Let us answer this question first with an
examination of the usefulness of linguistics to the study of history.

Linguistic Data and History

First we shall try to ask two questions (1) What contribution can the systematic study of language
make to the study of West African History. (2) What type of linguistic data is relevant to the study of
West African History?
For an answer to the first question we shall first take note of an important proverb amongst the
Wolof and the Fulfulde. According to the folklore of these two groups “speech is what gives shape to
the past”. What this implies is that the study of the past will be shapeless without speech. And who
says this is not true given the fact that all other sources for the working of history derive their
inspiration from the spoken word.
There are four basic ways Linguistic data can contribute to the study of history.
(1) Linguistics provides information about the common origins of people who may, today,
be living separate lives in different localities.
(2) It provides information about time lapsed since the separation of once – united language
or peoples
(3) It aids the location of the trust homelands from which people having a common origin
dispersed to other locations.
(4) It provides information about continuities and changes in the environment or in culture.

Tracing Common Origins

The linguistic technique used to trace or determine the common origins of people is based on certain
generalizations derived from the study of Indo-European languages. (Greenberg 1963b) These
generalizations deal with how population dispersal affect languages in time and space. Language
dispersals and differentiation.
Let us assume that there once existed a single population. A group of individuals originally
belonging to this population migrate to two different locations. With time this dispersal will lead to
increasing difficulties of communication amongst the dispersed groups. We can represent the process
Figure 1

The two groups A and B that dispersed from a common stem Y will start by speaking the
original language spoken by Y population. But before long, each group witnesses changes in their
vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar. After about one or two centuries group A will understand
group B but with much difficulty. When this happens, two dialects of would have been created. After
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

about 10 or more centuries these dialects A and B become fully grown languages. Their various
speakers would no longer understand themselves. Thus what originally was one single language is now
differentiated into two languages – A and B.
The original language from which A and B were differentiated is usually called the Proto
language while the new languages are called Daughter Languages.
It is possible that much later, as a result of further dispersal of people from amongst A and B
speakers, new dialects would be created. These dialects A1, A2 and B1 and B2 may still be mutually
intelligible during the initial periods of the split. Speakers of A1 may understand speakers of A2 and
speakers of B1 may understand speakers of B2. But with time communication difficulties will increase.
The tell-tale residual similarities will reduce. But generally these will be more similarities and fewer
differences between speakers of A1 and A2 or B1 and B2. Conversely, speakers of A1 will find it more
difficult to understand speakers of B2 and vice versa.
But how can a historian use this process of language dispersal and differentiation to trace
common origins? Firstly, a modicum of similarities in the vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar of
the speakers of different dialects or languages would suggest the likelihood of common origins from a
proto language. Secondly, where the similarities are close, then it can further be inferred that the
languages in question are offshoots of the same primary section of the original population (i.e. A1 and

Pitfalls in Using Language Dispersal and Differentiation for Determining Common Origins
The method of determining homelands mentioned about has been recognized for a hundred or more
years now. But it is only in the last thirty or so years that linguistics have drawn our attention to the
pitfalls associated with it. Among these pitfalls include:-
(1) The facts that it may be simplistic to assume that all similarities between languages are
genetic i.e. due to common origin. There are two other possible explanations of similarity
between languages.
(a) Accident
(b) Borrowing
It is important to carefully determine what similarities are due to accidents, borrowings and
common origins if the historian must avoid the danger of associating similarities to common origins
when in fact they are a product of accidents or borrowings.
Grammatical similarities can be a product of both accidental resemblance and borrowings. This
is very unlike vocabulary or lexical similarities. Thus we can discount the possibility of accidental,
similarities with respect to vocabularies. But what about borrowing? Linguists have argued that only
one type of vocabulary are much more susceptible to borrowing, i.e. the Non-basic vocabulary. These
we different from the Basic core vocabulary which are less prone to borrowing.
By basic vocabulary we mean words depicting Universal aspects of human experience. They
are used to represent things, processes and activities common to all geographical areas and cultures.
Examples are words that stand for water, sun, sky, air or words that represent aspects of the human
body such as head, eye, hand, leg etc.
By Non-Basic Vocabulary we mean words used to represent non-universal aspects of human
experience, or things, processes and activities unique to certain environments or cultures. Examples
include Kings, sea, rivers, mountain, snow.
The assumption is that because the basic vocabulary refers to universal unchanging aspects of
human experience, there is no need for speakers of a given language to change it or borrow from
speakers of another language. It remains static with non-basic vocabulary the situation is different.
People who migrate from their homeland into another come into contact with new experiences. The
tendency is for them to borrow the words used to represent these new experiences in their new locality.
This is very unlike a situation where they meet an experience which they are already familiar with or

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

which is universal. The likelihood is for them to use the original word in their proto language to depict
this universal unchanging experience.
It is because of this that linguists have asserted that basic core vocabulary is more reliable for
analyzing similarities and differences between languages with a view to determining common origins.
What must linguists do is to compare 100 or 200 basic words in two or more languages whose origins
is a focus of study. They compute the percentage of similarities and differences in these languages.
Where the comparison shows nil or small percentages this is seen as an indication that the languages
concerned are not of common origin. A relatively small but not too small percentage of similarities is
seen as an indication that the languages are of a very remote common origin, while a large percentage
would indicate a more recent common origin.
This process of comparing the words or lexicons of two or more languages with a view to
determining the degree of their similarities and differences or whether they are of a common origin is
known as Lexicostatistics.

The Problem with Lexicostatistics

(1) Similarities can be a product of Accidents.
(2) They can be a product of Borrowing.
The phenomenon called language shift depicts the process by which a language is borrowed.
Language shift occurs when a group adopts the language of another. E.g. The Fulani adopted the
language of the Hausa groups they conquered. Note also Ijo group amongst the Yorubas of Ondo State;
or the Edo – speakers found in the midst of kalabari people on the eastern fringes of the Delta.
Whenever language shift occurs, the speakers who adopt the languages of others retain an
adulterated version of their original language for purposes of worship.

The Contribution of Linguistics to the Study of Origins in West Africa

(1) Linguistic evidence was instrumental to determining the origin of the Ijo peoples.
Between the 1920s and the 1960s people generally believed that the Ijos came from
Benin. Some historians even accepted this argument.
However, through a comparison of the Basic words in Ijo and Edo languages, it was found that
the similarities between the two languages are two small to warrant any conclusive assertion that the
speakers of these languages are of a common origin Comparisons between Ijo – Yoruba and Ijo – Igbo
have shown the same degree of similarity. In fact, Edo, Yoruba and Igbo are far closer to one another
than Ijo. And it is based on this result that linguistic have suggested that if at all Ijo is related to any of
these languages, it must have been differentiated from the proto language before the Edo, Yoruba and
Igbo languages became distinct languages.
(2) Linguistic evidence was also significant in determining the origin of the Yoruba people.
Popular writings from the 1920s to the present suggest that the Yorubas originated from
Egypt or from Arabia. However, with the help of linguistic techniques we are now aware
(a) There is virtually little or no similarity in the basic core vocabulary of Yoruba and
Ancient Egyptian or between Yoruba and Arabic.
(b) There is rather a very high degree of similarity between Yoruba and Igala
(c) There is a fairly high degree of similarity in the basic vocabulary between Yoruba,
Edo, Igbo, Idoma, Igbira and Nupe.
From these three results we can conclude that the origin of the Yorubas i.e. not in Egypt or in
the Middle East, but rather within the vicinity of the languages that are similar to the Yoruba language.
This vicinity is in Southern and South Central Nigeria.
(3) Linguistic evidence has also been used to refute the tradition that the Fulani people
originated from Arabia. There is virtually zero similarity between Fulfulde and Arabic.
On the contrary Fulfulde is closely related to Wolof and Serer both of which belong to the

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

West Atlantic language family which is a branch of Niger – Kordofanian. Thus the Fulani
people should trace their origin to the Senegal valley rather than to the Middle East.
(4) Finally, linguistics has also provided us a better understanding of Bantu migrations. The
early generation of historians saw no connection between the Bantu speaking peoples of
central and South Africa and those of West Africa. A comparison of their languages has
however shown that they originated from a common place located in the Cross – River
and Middle belt areas.

Dating the Separation of Groups

We noted earlier that the historian’s methodology requires the dating of past events. Sometimes this is
not strictly possible because of the limitations of written and oral sources.
However, linguistics can serve as an aid in this respect. Linguistics can provide us with both
relative and absolute dates. Relative dating in linguistics is derived from the earlier stated assumption
that the longer the time lapsed between the separation of two or more languages from proto-language,
the fewer the similarities between the present day versions of these languages. This assumption
provides only relative time periods. It does not give us any definite dates.
Absolute Dating, on the contrary is an attempt to provide definite dates for the separation of
once united languages. For long linguists were unable to provide an absolute dating technique for
determining the definite time lapse between the differentiation of languages. This inability continued
long after the Archaeologists acquired the Radio Carbon technique.
The Problem was however relatively solved with the invention of an absolute dating technique
called Glottochronology. Morris Swadesh who first used it to study Indo – European languages,
invented Glottochronology. Now what is glottochronology all about?
Glottochronology attempts to measure the degree of differentiation between two or more
related languages with a view to determining the relative length of time since the initial separation of
these languages. Swadesh 1966) this historical linguistic technique operates on four basic assumptions.
(a) That the basic – core vocabulary of 100 or 50 words are much less subject to change.
(b) That the rate at which a given language retained its basic words is relatively stable and
constant through time. Thus if a language has 100 basic core words, after about 1000
years it should retain 90% of this list. In other words, if the language originally had 100
basic words, after the first millenium of its separation from a proto-language it should
have 90 basic core words left. At the end of the second millenium it should retain 90% of
the 90 items with which it started the second millenium, i.e. 81 words. By the end of the
third anthem it should retain 90% of the 81 words with which it started the second
millenium and so on.
(c) That the rate of loss of the basic core vocabulary is the same for all languages, whether
they are Ino-European or not. This rate ranges from 13.6 percent to 25.6 percent every one
thousand years.
(d) That if the proportion of cognates within the basic core vocabulary is found for the two
languages compared the time they separated from a common parent language can be
computed. In other words, since we know that about 13.6% of the basic core vocabulary
is lost every one thousand years, we can find out the time both languages separated from
the proto-language by calculating the percentage or number of basic core words that is
lost during every one thousand year period. Thus if both languages have lost only 13.6
percent of their basic words we can conclude that they separated from their proto-
language a thousand years ago. And if both languages have lost about 27.2 of their basic
core words, we can assume that they separated about 2,000 years ago.
The actual formular used by glottochronologists to determine the time lapsed in the separation
of languages is more complex than we have presented above. This formular is something like this:-

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

T = log C
2log r.
t stands for the time lapsed, log C for percentage of basic words common to the language compared
and r for individual rate of retention of basic words.

The Limitations of Glottochronology

Although glottochronology provides several promises for the historical linguist, it has limitations.
These limitations have made the technique very controversial. For the purpose of clarity, we shall
examine the limitations contained in each of the four basic assumptions of glottochronology.
(1) There is not much to quarrel with in the first assumption that the basic core vocabulary is
much less subject to change. What, however, is not absolutely true about this assumption
is that Basic Core VOCABULARY IS universal or that there is a clear dichotomy
between basic and non-basic vocabulary. For instance, words like green, yellow and cloud
which appear as basic items in the works of lexicostatisficians are not available in the
form of single word glosses in certain African languages. There are no single word
glosses for green, and yellow in Yoruba. Similarly, the Badagry dialect of Egun has no
single word glosses for “Cloud”, “because”, “if”. What this implies is that each language
has its own peculiar structure and semantic patterns which may not strictly speaking, be
amenable to the rigid assumptions on which the definition of basic and non-basic words
are based.
(2) There is an even more serious problem associated with the second and third assumptions.
The rate of loss for languages that have been written cannot be the same for languages
that have not been written. It is possible that the rate at which different languages retained
items in their basic list is neither the same nor stable or constant through time. This
possibility has led several linguists to suggest different conflicting rates of loss ranging
from 13.6% to 25.6% Swadesh suggest a loss/retention rate of 25%/75% while Hattori
suggests 15%/85% respectively. (Swadesh, 1966b).

Languages/Peoples Swadesh’s length of Divergence Hattori’s length of Divergence

Yoruba – Igala 2000 years 3000 years
Tiv – Zulu 2,500 years 3500 years
Yoruba – Edo 3,200 years 4000 years
Yoruba – Igbo 4,000 years 6,000 years
Niger – Congo Dispersal 6,000 years 10,000 years

The 13.6 or 25.6% rate of loss per 1000 years may not apply in all cases. Lucumi, a dialect of
Yoruba spoken by former slaves in Cuba today retains about 50% of its basic core cognates. If we use
the 13.6% or 25.6% rate of loss of basic core items as a means of determining when it separated from
Yoruba, we shall arrive at a date of between 5000 to 15,000 years ago. This of course is not true
because lucumi separated from Yoruba only about some 500 years ago, during the slave trade.
These problems have led linguists to suggest conflicting rates of loss and retention of basic –
core words. Swadesh, the man who invented glottochronology has suggested a loss/retention rate of
25/75% while Hattori has suggested 15/85% respectively.
Based on these differences both linguists have computed different dates for the separation of
some African Languages from their Proto – Language. Swadesh’s computation show relatively short
time periods of divergence, while those of Hattori show long periods.
Irrespective of the large differences between the dates suggested by Swadesh and Hattori for
the separation of African Languages from their proto-language, glottochronology is still a useful
instrument of African history. Before the invention of the method, historians generally believed that the
major dispersals or migrations on the continent happened not too long ago. Glottochronology now
shows that these migrations occurred at a much longer time.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Linguistics as an Instrument for Locating Homelands

After determining the common origins of languages or groups, and estimating the time depth in the
separation of these groups, the linguist can also locate the actual homeland from which they dispersed.
The method he adopts is still related to generalizations based on population dispersal and language
differentiation in time and space. More specifically, it is based on patterns in the spartial arrangement
or distribution of languages.
There are basically three geographical patterns in the distribution of languages from which
historians can draw inferences as to the location of language homelands.
The first inference can be drawn from a circular pattern in the distribution of languages. This
circular pattern is usually the commonest pattern of population dispersal and language distribution.
Where a people speaking a language is under land or food pressure, the tendency is for them to move
outwards in search of better alternatives. If the supplies of land and food resources were good all round
the perimeter of their original homeland different migrants would tend to move outwards in all
directions. With time these different migrants will come to speak different dialects or even languages
of the proto – language. When this happens, a circular cluster of languages or language blocks will
come into existence. First, each block will have roughly the same degree of relationship to all others.
Secondly, each will also have the same degree of internal diversity.
A circular pattern in the distribution of languages with the same degree of relationship to each
other, and the same degree of internal diversity, is often evidence of dispersal from a common
homeland located at the centre of the cluster.

Figure 2: Dispersal of languages in all directions in conditions of good all – round availability of land and
food resources.

The second inference can be drawn from a fanlike arrangement of wedge – shaped blocks.
Where a people speaking a language are under land or food pressure, but these resources are not in
abundant supply along some parts of the original perimeter, the tendency is for them to avoid this area
when migrating in search of better alternatives. If land and food supply is good along one half of the
perimeter, the migrants will tend to spread out in a half – circle on the good side. This will eventually
lead to a geographical pattern of languages distributed in a fanlike arrangement of wedge – shaped
blocks. The boundaries between the various blocks of languages will converge on the area that was
formerly the homeland.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Figure 3: Dispersal of languages in half – circle where one half of the perimeter has limited resources.

The significant point to note is that where we find (a) a high degree of linguistic diversity and
(b) the existence of most of the main branches of the language family, we can conclude that we are in
the old territory. Conversely, where we find (a) a low degree of linguistic diversity and (b) the presence
of either a single main branch of the language or a small sub-unit of the main branch, we can conclude
that we are in the new territory. The exact homeland can be found at the point where most of the main
branches of the language family converge.

Figure 4: Linguists have used the three assumptions or generalizations mentioned above to locate the
homeland of several African language families.

(1) The Afro – Asiatic Homeland

The language families known as Chadic, Berber, Ancient Egyptian, Semitic, Omotic and Cushitic
belong to a single language – family called the Afro-Asiatic.(Fleming 1969).
(a) This language block is roughly arranged in a circular cluster, whose centre lies to the
northeastern section of the Sahara Desert.
(b) Each language group roughly has the same degree of internal diversity as the others. This
confirms the archeological speculations that as a result of the dessication of the Sahara
populations dispersed northwards, westwards, southwards and eastwards.

(2) Niger – Kordofanian homeland

The West African region is largely made up of the Niger – Kordofanian language family. The block of
course excludes the 100 or 50 languages classified as Afro-Asiatic and the Songhai and Kanuri
languages which belong to the Nile -–Saharan group. The Niger – Kordofanian family is composed of
three large blocks called the Mande, Niger – Congo and Kordofanian. Niger – Congo occupies the
eastern section of West Africa, Mande the Western section and Kordofanian the area to the south west
of Sudan. The present geographical location of these three language blocks forms a fanlike structure,
which suggests that their homeland is at the south-western Sahara where the boundaries of each group
converge. The Mande group does not have the same degree of internal diversity as the Niger – Congo
and Kordofanian. But Niger-Congo and Kordo fanian have the same degree of diversity. (Dalby 1965).
A combination of this fact and the fan-shaped arrangement of the three language blocks suggests that
they belong to the same main language family. Besides, the unfavourable ecological situation north of

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

the homeland, and the possibility of only moving southwards explains the fan-shaped nature of the
dispersal to the area of southwestern Sahara.

(3) The Yoruboid – Akokoid Homeland

The Yoruboid – Akokoid language family belongs to the Niger – Congo block of the Niger –
Kordofanian. It is composed of two branches. The first comprises Yoruba, Itsekiri and Igala, the
second the various Akoko languages spoken where the boundaries Ondo, Edo and Kwara states
converge. Historians formerly believed that speakers of these various languages dispersed from Ile Ife.
But this conclusion is not supported by linguistic evidence. The south-west, where Ife is located, has
(a) a low degree of linguistic diversity and (b) only one sub-branch (i.e. Yoruba) of the two main
branches of Yoruboid – Akokiod family can be found here. On the contrary, at the North-East, located
between the boundaries of ondo, Edo and Kogi, we have (a) a high degree of linguistic diversity and
representatives of the main branches of the Yoruboid – Akokoid group – i.e. Yoruba, Itsekiri, Igala and
Akoko. (Crowther 1852).
From this evidence linguists have concluded that the North-East of the area represents the old
homeland of the Yoruboid – Akokoid language family, while the south-west represents the new
territory. Ile Ife may not after all be the centre from which various Yoruba groups dispersed to their
present location.

(4) Bantu - Homeland

The same argument made for the Yoruboid – Akokoid block can be made in determining the homeland
of the Bantu languages which belong to the Plateau/Bendi/Bantoid group which in turn belong to the
east – south – central – Niger Congo – i.e. (ESC’NC). Now, two areas contend as authentic homelands
of the Bantu speakers – the main stem of the African continent and the present central and southern
Nigeria. A close examination of these two areas suggests that the Bantu homeland is in the latter area
because it possesses a high degree of linguistic diversity and contains most of the languages classified
as the Plateau/Bendi/Bantoid groups and its bigger unit of ESCNC (Hodge 1968). Conversely, the
main stem of the African continent has only one main branch of ESCNC i.e. Plateau/Bendi/Bantoid.

Linguistics and Material Culture

Linguistic techniques do not only provide the historian information restricted to migrations, common
origins and chronologies. These techniques can also be used to determine the nature of past and present
environments and the material culture of their communities or even the quality of life.
While basic – core vocabulary is more useful for determining the genetic relationship between
languages, both basic and non-basic words are equally useful in analyzing the material culture of the
speakers of any given language.
Since history is concerned with changes in the attitude or life-styles of human societies,
historical linguists are also interested in the reconstruction of such changes. The “Words – and –
Things” Method is the basic means of reconstructing material culture in the past. This method is
similar to the earlier mentioned technique of lexicostatistics.
The first step in adopting the Words – and – Things method is to find out the language – family
to which a group of languages belong. This of course can only be done effectively with the aid of basic
– core vocabulary. The second step is to separate the non-basic vocabulary of these languages into two
(1) Those that are genetic or a product of a period before the dispersal of groups speaking
these languages;
(2) Those that are a product of recent borrowing.
Languages that belong to the same language family will have similar words for describing
experiences known to them before the dispersal. While a particular language belonging to a family may
tend to borrow words to depict new experiences not common to languages to which it is related.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Incidence of borrowing abounds in many languages. Englishmen had to borrow the word
“Typhoon” from the Chinese to describe the violent wind they encountered on their journeys in far-
eastern seas. Several African groups have had to borrow English words depicting technologies or
processes that were alien to their cultures. For example, “motor”, telephone, fridge and other English
words can be found in several African languages in one form or the other.
The “words – and – things” method has been used to reconstruct material culture in West
Africa in two ways. First, it has been used to provide information on the ancestral environment and
culture of people in the past. Second, it has also been used to show changes in these material cultures
which are products of borrowing.
Mccall (1964) has attempted to reconstruct the environment, technology and culture of the
Proto-Bantu population. According to him,
“The … Bantu speakers lived in an ecological setting in which the elephant and Antelope,
the baobad and Palm, and the Grey Parrot were to be found. Apparently in an open
forest. They cultivated these cereals, millet, sorghum and rice and they also grew
(Bambara) groundnuts, beans, melons, pumpkins and bananas. They had cattle, sheep,
goats, chickens and a dog. They used iron, hoes, knives, spears, bows and canoes. They
wore clothes, put salt in their food, and drank beer. They used cowrie shells, whether as
decoration or currency we cannot say, but it suggests trade in either case. They were
governed by Chiefs and ministered to by diviners”.
Greenberg (1971) has also attempted to show how speakers of Hausa borrowed cultural items
from their kanuri neighbours. Before his study, historians, based on evidence from the Kano Chronicle,
tended to suggest that early influences on the Hausa States were mainly from the Mali Empire. They
had argued that Islam, writing and certain political institutions in Hausaland originated from Mali –
Greenberg’s comparative study of Kanuri and Hausa however, suggests that the Hausa word for
writing (Rubutu) reading (Karatu), market (Kasuwa) fortified wall (Garu), gun (Bindiga) and saddle
(Sirrdi) were borrowed from the Kanuri. The same is also true for such words as Ciroma, and Yanima
which depict political titles.

Summary and Conclusion

It is now crystal clear that interdisciplinary techniques are indispensable for the writing of African
history. The poverty of relying only on one or two methods (i.e. written and recently oral sources) has
reached a disturbing situation because of the enormous historical information/data in the continent, left
untapped. Our historical approach has uncovered inertia on the part of historians on the new methods
for reconstructing and analyzing human affairs. We are aware that before the 1960s the goal of African
historians had been nationalistic, that is an attempt to correct the negative account of European scholars
and expose the achievements of Africans in notion building and statecraft (Jaja, 2005b).
In reconstructing the monumental distortions of European scholars, it became obvious that the
blatant and overt prejudice may be based on ignorance, informed by their inability to utilize various
other sources rich in history of these traditional societies. There is no doubt that the interdisciplinary
methods identified above increasingly subjected European accounts into scrutiny, their activities
became unfashionable subjects for research as a means of monitoring European and African reactions.
But more importantly interdisciplinary methods had helped Africans discover themselves more, their
homeland, their language and material culture.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Ajayi and Alagoa (1974) Black African: The historian’s Perspective Daedalus, spring.
[2] Alagoa E.J. (1971) The Niger Delta States and their neighbours, 1609 – 1800, in J.F.A Ajayi
and MCrowder (eds.) History of West Africa (London: Longman) Vol. 1.
[3] Cohen, D.W. (1972) The historical tradition of Busoga, Mukama and kintu (Oxford: Clarendon
[4] Dalby, D. (1965) ‘The Mel Languages: A Reclassification of Southern “West Atlantic”, ALS,.
[5] Diagne, P. (1976) Enquete Linguistique (Tchad. Unesco).
[6] Fleming, H.C. (1969) “The classification of West Cushitic Wilhin Hamito – Semitic”, in D.F.
Mccall, N.R. Bennett and J. Butler (eds.), Eastern African History (New York: Praeger).
[7] Greenberg, J.H. (1971) Language Culture and communication (Stanford Calif. Standard
university Press).
[8] Hintze, F. (1955) ‘Die Sprachliche Stellung des meroitischen’, Deutsche Akademie der
wissenchaften veröff, 26.
[9] Hodge, C.T. (1968) ‘Afro – Asiatic 67;, in Language Science Indiana.
[10] Hohen Berger J. (1956) “Comparative Masai Word list”, Africa, 26. Hunting Ford G.W.B.
(1956) ‘The “Nilo-Hamitic” Languages’, SWJA.
[11] Jaja, J.M. (2005b) The Challenge of change: The Nigerian Historian and Nigerian’s
Transformation in Sophia: An African Journal of Philosophy vol. 6 No.1.
[12] Kent, RK (1970) Early Kingdom in Madagascar, 1500 – 1700, (New York: Holt Rinehart &
[13] Lukas J. (1936) ‘The Linguistic situation in the Lake Chadiarea of Central Africa, Africa, 9.
[14] McCall, D.F. (1964) Africa in Time perspective: A Discussion of Historical Reconstruction
from unwritten Sources Boston, University Press.
[15] Muller, F. (1867) Reise der osterreichischen fregate ‘novara’um die Erde in denyren 1857,
1858, 1859. Linguistischer Teil (vienna: staatsdruckerei).
[16] Murdock, G.P. (1959) Africa: Its peoples and their culture history (New York: McGraw Hill).
[17] Murray, G.W. (1920) The Nilotic Languages: A Comparative Essay, JRAI.
[18] Newman, P and Ma, R. (1966) Comparative Chadic: Phonology and lexicon, Al, 5, 3.
[19] Sapir D. (1974b) West Atlantic: An Inventory of the languages, their noun, class systems and
consonant alterations, in T.A. Sebeok (ed.), Current trends in linguistics, vol. VII (Paris, The
Hague: Mouton).
[20] Sebeok, T.A. ed..(1963 – 74) Current Trends in Linguistics (Paris/The Hague: Mouton).
[21] Swadesh (1966b) ‘Glottochronology’, JW/AL Journal of West Africa Languages University of
Ibadan, Dept. of linguistics and Nigeria Languages, Ibadan, Nigeria.
[22] Swadesh, E. (1966a) ‘A Preliminary glottochronology of Gur,’ (J WAL) Journal of West Africa
Languages University of Ibadan, Dept of Linguistics and Nigeria Languages, Ibadan, Nigeria.
[23] Tucker, A.N. (1940) The Eastern Sudanic Languages (London: Oxford University Press).
[24] Vansina, J. (1973) The Tio Kingdom of the Middle Congo, 1880 – 1892 (London: Oxford
University press).
[25] Welmers W.E. (1973) African Language Structures (Berkeley, Calif: University of Califorunia
[26] Westermann D. (1911) Die Sudansprachen, eine Sprachvergleichende studie (Chambury:
[27] Wright, Mercia (1971) African history in the 1960’s: Religion African Studies Review, xiv, 3.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Nigerian Women, Maternal Politics and

Political Participation: A Historical Overview

Jones M. Jaja
Institute of Foundation Studies, Rivers State University of Science and Technology
PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
E-mail: jonesalali@yahoo.com
Tel: 08033168998, 08056049778

Edna A. Brown
History Unit, Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Port Harcourt

Gender issues has become an increasing area of interest in contemporary Nigerian social
relations. Developing nations have come to the realization of the political significance of
the gender question. Documentary evidence exists detailing the extent women have been
deprived, neglected, exploited and oppressed, it is not the intention of this paper to recount
this here, but rather to note that in the light of this neglect, it is not surprising that in spite
of their numerical strength, little impact has been recorded in the area of politics. This
paper posits that the role of Nigerian women, their interest, opportunities and attempts to
break barriers militating against their effective participation in politics, not withstanding
efforts should be directed more to maternal politics.

The transformation in information technology is a blessing for the Nigerian woman as the wind of
change blowing across the globe resulted in Western Culture and influence metamorphosing all
spheres of her life. The declaration of 1980s as a decade for women promoted the zeal to correct ills
and to terminate discriminatory practices against women in all spheres of life. The United Nation
declared 1975 as the international women’s year. The period 1976 – 1985 was dedicated for women,
with major conferences held in Mexico (1975), Copenhagen (1980) Kenya (1985) Beljing and China
(1995) to address women issues. No doubt these conferences were quite instrumental to the radical
transformation being witnessed in the Nigerian scene. A steady all be it slow transformation informed
by education, social interaction, cross cultural marriages civilization and religion. Today, the Nigerian
woman having been significantly broadened have come a long way and excelled in almost every field
of human endeavour in spite of cultural barriers to keep her down. Women preciously seen as agents of
procreation through education and hard work have taken up greater responsibilities, penetrating
professions culturally tagged exclusively for men. The Nigerian scenerio today present an interesting
experience of the change or changed role of women as either workers, professionals, business women
or politician or even as drug traffickers, armed robbers and militants. Cultural tolerance has brought
about a change, which has opened up avenues for participation in activities hitherto exclusively men

Culturally Defined Sex Roles

The Nigerian is not totally different from other societies around the world when it comes to gender
specific roles. This is based on cultural convention, which assigns different roles to different people
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

based on sex. It must be emphasized that sex roles vary from one cultural society to the other
depending on the customs and traditions, as well as biological differences. Let us examine this
contention briefly. The biological explanations rest on the constitutional make-up of women regarding
genetic factors (Gray 1981), hormonal factors and brain lateralization (Sermon 1979) suggesting that
their deficits in women make them naturally ill-equipped to pursue career in certain fields. Manthrope
(1982) Cohen (1983) and Birke (1986) have argued that the constitutions of females have no direct
bearing on their ability. In reality, any “innate differences vary more between individuals than between
sexes” (Moulton 1979).
Psychologically, the variable of personality, interest, attitude and self concept also play
important roles in stimulating or inhibiting interest in career such as politics. Women start off with
lesser interest in politics than men. This could be traced to the intensity of their experience. They are
denied opportunity to develop attributes that promote qualities such as oppressiveness, detachment and
remoteness from concern. Moreover, women have low self-concept about their abilities in politics.
They see themselves as being unable to excell in this field. After all, success expectation within a
framework can serve as motivator for participation in a career field (Ehindero 1986; Jacobowitz 1983).
From creation, women have been stereotyped and pigeon – holed to play secondary role. In the
Nigerian society, social tradition centred, this around domestic pre-occupation, child-bearing, and
contributing to her family budget (Jaja 2007: 11), appreciation and unreserved fidelity to husbands as
stipulated in the Holy Scripture "for the woman which had an husband is bound by the law to her
husband so long as he liveth” (Romans 7 vs. 2-3), again marriage is honourable in all, and the bed
undefiled, (Hebrew 13 vs. 4).
Similarly, Western tradition indicates that women were over-protected and consequently
became completely dependent on their menfolk. Women thus became the weaker sex with physical
fragility and emotional imbalance deserving total protection from their male counterparts. No wonder
therefore that womanhood according to Uchendu (1983) “placed women as merely the property of their
husbands”. Largely because of this, they have not been able to free themselves and realize their full
potentials. The result of this is that women have remained disadvantaged in several fields of human
endeavors, most especially in leadership positions in politics and active political participation.

Conceptual Issues
It is important for us to begin this exercise with a firm grasp of the relevant terms since they have been
subjected to various interpretations. It is not however our intention to delve into these various
interpretation, but only those germane to this exercise.
Women by simple definition means an adult feminine human specie. Different people have
defined a woman as a womb, the ovary, the second sex, a helpmate and weaker vessel, bone of my
bones and flesh of my flesh. Perhaps these ascription do not give us the correct view of a woman.
Scientists and society have defined the concept of a woman in different ways over the years. Aristotle
conceived of woman as “afflicted with natural defectiveness”, while St. Thomas Aquinas identifies a
woman as “imperfect man, an accidental being” (Simone de Beauvoir 1972: 16) Demeji (1999)
conceives of woman’s nature as “mysterious” and “tremendously” complex. It is important to points
out that the choice is that of a woman and not her anatomy, physiology or nature as conceived by
Another concept that needs to be conceptualized here is maternal politics. Maternal politics
refers to political movements rooted in women’s defense of their roles as mothers and protectors of
their children. These are not the radical ferminist critique of motherhood as an oppressive institution,
but movements, which give motherhood and family responsibilities a high priority. Their maternal
roles should be the driving force behind public political action. Maternal politics therefore is a term
used to describe a widespread feature of women’s political activity. (Wells 1998).

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Politics is defined as systematic allocation of power. Harold Lasswell’s famous definition of

Politics as he who gets what, when and how? Emphasizes the allocation of resources. Chamber’s
twentieth century dictionary defines politics as “the art or science of government, the management of a
political party, political affairs or opinions”. Politics is everywhere since it essentially involves power –
sharing, opinion management, policy formulation and implementation and overall management of
human beings. However, when politics get sour it results in war. That explains the definition - Politics
is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed. In order words where politics or
politicking cannot continue or where disagreements cannot be resolved war sets in to remove the
obstacle to politics. When the obstacle is removed, that is, when one party is defeated politics
continues. In reality, politics is an inevitable part of human existence.
On the other hand, the word “participation” can be likened to having a share in some activities
such as enterprise or politics. It also connotes involvement and carrying out investigations to come to a
historical conclusion.

Women Participation in Politics Before 1900

The purpose here is to explore how this participation has been subjected to changes. A historical
approach albeit briefly would be adopted here. Nigerian women had access to political participation
through a complex and sophisticated process. In acephalous states like the Igbo, Tiv and Izon, even in
monarchical ones like Yoruba, Benin and the Hausa/Fulani, women were reported to be active in
politics. As Afigbo (1980) noted:
In Pre-colonial days no state law imputing certain disabilities on women existed in Africa
and the society was equilitarian. African, including Nigerian women, was thus powerful
in economic and socio-political sectors of the pre-colonial and colonial eras. They
accumulated fabulous riches from genuine commerce and slave and ruled vast kingdoms.
Women’s political power varies from society to society. In some societies, women shared
equal, complimentary or subordinate authority. For instance in Opobo Kingdom in the Niger Delta,
women’s access to political participation was exemplified by the Queen Osunju who was one of the
earliest women who held sway over men, satisfied requirements for installation as a war-canoe Chief
except for the state dinner. Her contemporary Queen Kampa ruled both men and women in her
plantation resort at Ozu kampa (Jaja 2003). These examples contradict Smith (1969) view that women
did not in most cases aspire for and handled leadership roles. One would however state that the
development was not widespread in the period under review. In pre-colonial period, accounts abound
of Egbe Iyalode, Out Umuada or Umuokpu and several other women groups that played important
roles in the societies. There is however, a controversy on the position of the Umuada institution
looking at their roles. For example if there is a disagreement among various levels of authority, the
institution is invited. Their decision on most cases is taken as final, but in Igboland, the position of
women is almost secondary (Jaja and Aba-Erondu 2000: 55). Female public officers included Iya-
Kekere and Iyaba. Iya Kekere was in charge of king’s treasury and paraphernalia of state. She was also
the feudal head of the Asseyin, Oluwo and the Baale of Ogbomosho. Iyaba controlled both men and
women in the palace. The point being made here is that the number of women in such positions is
minimal compared to their numerical strength. Therefore some form of discrimination existed. What
was the colonial situation like?

Women Participation in Politics Before 1960

With the inauguration of colonial rule, African potentials lost virtually all authority and power they
wielded and the people lost their freedom. It was the colonial authority that decided how the people
were governed and the measure of power and authority enjoyed by those who govern. Moreover, the
economic resources were reordered to satisfy colonial purpose. It was indeed part of this agenda that
led to the introduction of taxation and the celebrated demonstration of women known as the “women

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

war of 1929” against the oppressive policy. While women of the colonizing nation accepted taxation as
part of gender equality, their Nigerian counterparts in Igbo land felt differently. They took up arms
against “obnoxious taxation”. In the words of Mba (1992: 78):
Another crucial issue was that of taxation. Taxation was introduced into the eastern
province in 1927, at a time of economic instability. By 1929, the women had begun to
feel the pinch of this now measure because of the interdependent nature of the village
economy. Many women were having to pay tax for their husbands, sons and male
relations. It was however the belief that women were to be taxed which transformed the
various isolated anti-taxation protests by men and women into a massive far-reaching
protest movement by women.
Although the threat of taxation was the immediate course of the revolt, women were actually
fighting against the massive erosion of their political power. The diversity that characterized this revolt
is evidence of Igbo women solidarity in defending their economic, political and cultural identity. The
riots were a testimony to the political influence, political vigour of women and more importantly their
capacity to mobilize.
In the west taxes also became a source of conflict as women opposed colonial policies
detrimental to their economic interest. Yoruba women became more and more impatient with the ill-
treatment to make them pay which they endured but also with the fact that despite the obligations
imposed on them they lacked the right to vote or be represented. It was this situation that Mrs.
Funmilayo Kuti exploited, mobilized a “modern” political action demanding for the right to vote and
representation from 1946. Under her direction, the Abeokuta Women Union (AWU) became a
formidable pressure group which launched a protest campaign against taxation with the slogan “no
taxation without representation”. Mrs F. Kuti galvanized the people without the use of force. It was not
until January 3, 1949 that government succumed to their pressure, abolished taxation for women,
women became represented for the first time in council and the Alake abdicated. The Abeokuta
Women Union became pressure groups safeguarding the interest of Egba women. It must be pointed
our that what the Igbo women won through the use of violence, the Egba women achieved by virtue of
their organizational cohesion and determination. However, women still lacked commensurate
numerical representation in leadership positions in politics. The report of the Fourth World Conference
on Women Platform for Action; Beljing, China, 4th – 5th September 1995 captures this correctly when
it declares:
“Throughout their entire lifecycle, women’s daily existence and aspirations are restricted
by discriminatory attitudes, unjust social and economic structures and lack of resources in
most countries. This prevents their full and equal participation in national and
international life”
As we noted earlier, societal discrimination of women exists as a result of biological
differentiation of the sexes. In reality, the entire human race is involved and is more applicable to the
female sex. The point must be made that even if one joins a secret society or moves up the social
ladder, or becomes assimilated to another culture, one cannot escape from one’s sex and cannot escape
sexual discrimination. Let us examine the situation in the post 1960 period.

Women Participation in Politics After 1960

In 1960, the United Nations in an attempt to incorporate women world-wide adopted resolution
34/180–the Elimination of Discrimination against women (Okopoma 2006: 31). Mr. Kurth Waldneim,
former United Nation Secretary emphasized the importance of the declaration of the Decade for
women and concluded that the equalization of right of women with men has become a matter of vital
necessity if the world is to solve the worsening problems of poverty and ignorance. Helgedotter (1980)
defines “true equality” as “not just equal rights but equal possibilities to enjoy those rights”. This
means equal possibilities on choice for men and women as regards education, occupation and way of
life. Hence discrimination in education, employment and politics is becoming a thing of the past.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

In contemporary Nigeria, the factor of education has been responsible for change in women’s
political, social, and economic as well as cultural roles in the society. Education according to Gimba
“Is the process by which society through schools, colleges, universities and other social
institutions, deliberately transmits its cultural heritage (its accumulated knowledge, value
and skills) from one generation to another in order to foster continuously the well-being
of human kind and guarantee its survival against the unpredictable, at times hostile and
destructive elements and forces of men and of nature”.
The need to improve women’s access to education, health, political and economic power has
captured Uchendus (1993: 64, quoted in Okoroma 2006: 35) attention thus:
Men cannot claim exclusive right to shape the future of our world. It is time for them to
accept the challenge and share with women in decision-making process. it is high time to
acknowledge that the denial of women’s rights and opportunities is at the root of our
developmental problems and socio-economic ills… The most underdeveloped of all
human resources are women.
It is no wonder therefore, that various women organization emerged especially between the
period 1979 when the military left power and 1999 when the fourth republic took off, advocating for
participation. Such associations included Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA),
Nigerian Airforce Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA), National Association of Women Journal
(NAOWJ) and Women in Nigeria (WIN). They advocated the need to be seen and heard and the
expression of the decade became "what a man can do, a woman can do better” of all the organizations
that emerged Women in Nigeria (WIN) was the most vocal in the struggle for social and political
equality with men.
Led by WIN, the women at the political Bureau not only demanded the role of women in
politics, but the gender dimension of virtually everything. The women invoked the United Nations
Declaration of Human Rights, demanding the right to mobilize for legal and constitutional rights in the
family, work place and society; to compete for the highest offices in the country, struggle for a fair
share of the socio-economic and political order, and finally the reservation of 50% of seats at local
state and Federal levels of government.
These demands bore fruits in the Fourth Republic. The registered political parties, the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP), The All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) and the Alliance for Democracy
(AD) saw a large number of women some who contested and won on the platform of the parties at the
three tiers of government. The result was that women were elected into the Local Government
Councils, the State Houses of Assembly, the Senate and the House of Representatives. This was in
addition to their appointments as Ministers, Special Advicers, Commissioners, Chairpersons and
members of governing board of public enterprise etc. Indeed in the history of independent Nigeria,
women had never had it so good. However, this is a far – cry from what is expected judging on their
numerical strength. They are grossly under-represented. Therefore, if the impact of women in the
political spectrum of the Nigerian society is to be felt, women must mobilize themselves, for the men
folk are neither ready to relinquish the privileges already enjoyed nor change this status quo abruptly.
The instrument for such mobilization is not just women education but material politics. How can this
be achieved? What are the challenges?

Maternal Politics the Challenge for the Nigerian Women In the 21st Century
Women should brace up for the challenges ahead if they desire to balance the present political
leadership structure in Nigeria which is tilted towards men. Women should initiate more activities and
programmes that will increase the awareness of women not just to promote equality between men and
women but to acknowledge their fellow women’s role in national politics and in international
development efforts generally.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

“Motherism” or maternal politics though relatively unknown as a concept in this part of the
world is a good point to begin, because as a movement it has that commonality which relates to
motherhood – a significant thread that applies to women. Nigerian women could mobilize using
mother – centred terminology to articulate their grievances. The advantage of using “Motherism” as
platform for political participation is as follows:
(a) Motherism or maternal politics is boundless. The concept attracts members from across
traditional social divisions and class boundaries, due to the universal emotive appeal of
their cause.
(b) Women are brought into the public sphere in an unusual way, for a particular place and
time. As they take part in demonstration and other types of collective action their
conventional roles as homemakers are temporarily abandoned.
(c) They successfully challenge government policies on the moral ground that their capacity
to function as good mothers are jeopardized.
If such an activist platform were to be achieved, it would be difficult to relegate women to the
background. Because every aspirant would appear before this women organization to sell “his or her”
manifesto. But economic strangulation of women is one of the things setting the women back. This
activist movement is not to be initiated by the poorest of the poor. There must be empathy, the women
should also not be too ethnic or too jealous of each other. They must co-operate.
As has been observed there are no institutional barriers to active participation of women in any
human endeavour in the 21st century. The only inhibitions may probably be lack of will power funds
and physical energy.
There are however greater challenges that had affected the few women who had ventured into
and participated in socio economic and political endeavours. This is the high rate of divorce and single
parenthood – a practice which was not only unheard of, but regarded as an abomination in most
African societies, due to their greater exposure and improved economics base, some women come to
feel they can conveniently discard their God – given roles as wives and mothers without any serious
consequences. Vices such as prostitution child abandonment and delinquencies can largely be linked
with the consequences of women participation. Details of which are outside the scope of this paper.
But are indeed serious challenges to women in politics in the 21st century. Unfortunately, such strong
sentiments when evoked will not desire to actively involve women in politics in Nigeria.

This paper has attempted to examine women participation in Nigeria politic. It demonstrated that from
being powerless women they have gradually taken their place in decision making in the wider society.
Although the emergent colonial system gave men greater opportunity to the detriment of women;
constitutionally and theoretically women remained equal to men but in reality women are still regarded
as men’s appendages.
The last decade of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century have witnessed
tremendous activism in the demand for women full participation in decision – making process and
access to power. In recent times women are increasingly becoming politically active as their potentials
are gradually being felt across the country. However, compared to their numerical strength, Nigerian
women have not made much progress in participation in politics. This paper advocates the
development of a maternally – rooted political movement that would fight not for their own personal
rights as women, but for their custodial rights as Mothers. Since concepts of the sanctity of motherhood
are so deeply entrenched in the social fabric of most societies. This strategy often proves effective
where other attempts to generate social change fails. So potent had been the traditional discourse on
motherhood that husbands, families and government officials often acknowledge and respect the heart
– rending claims of mothers, giving mothers an unusual amount of political space in which to organize.
Although the fear exist that various vices associated with political power and economic empowerment
such as social indiscipline through extra – marital affairs, single parenthood, divorce and selfish desire
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

to boost their ego would pull women down, destroying whole attempt. Active participation of women
in politics and governance is not only desirable but also necessary as no society can achieve success
without the active participation of women.

[1] Birke, L. (1980) “Charring minds: Towards gender Equality in Science” In J. Harding (ed.)
Perspectives on Gender and Science. Philadelphia: The Palmer Press.
[2] Cohen, H. (1983) “A Comparison of the effect of two types of students behaviour with
manipulative on the development of projective spatial structures” Journal of Research in
Science. Teaching 20.
[3] Dimeji, A. (1999) What does an African “new woman” want in Good Enough (eds.) Beyond
the Second Sex: New Direction in the Anthropology of Gender. Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press.
[4] Ehindero, O.J. (1986) “Correlates of Physics Achievement”: The Role of Gender and Non-
induced Students Expectations. Journal 8. Experimental Education. 54.
[5] Ezeigbo, T.A. (1996) Gender Issues in Nigeria: A Feminine Perspective. Vista Books Ltd.
[6] Gray, J.A. (1981) A biological Basis for the Sex Differences in Achievement in Science? In
Kelly, A (ed.) The Missing Half Manchester: Manchester University Press.
[7] Gimba, M.B. (1996) Enhancing the Role of Women Through Women Education. In Gender
Issues in Education and Development. University Trust Publishers, Nsukka, Enugu.
[8] Helgedotter, R.(1980) Evolving Status of Women in Scandinavian and American Societies In
Sundial-Hansen (ed.) Eliminating Sex Stereotyping in Schools: A Regional Guide for
Educators in North America and Western Europe.
[9] Jacobwitz, T. (1983) “Relationship of Sex, Achievement and Science Self-concert to the
Science Career Preferences of Black Students” Journal on Research in Science Teaching.
[10] Jaja, J.M. (1996) “Gender Studies and Nigerian History” In Yomi Oruwari (ed.) Women,
Development and the Nigerian Environment. Vantage Publishers (Int.) Ltd. Ibadan.
[11] Jaja, J.M. (2007) Women and Community Development: Opobo and Elele – Alimini Examples
in Rivers State Nigeria. In Nigerian Journal of Research.
[12] Jaja, J.M. (2003) Women in Ibani History: Examples from the realm of Politics, Economy and
Religious order. In Ejituwu N.C. and Gabriel A.O.I. (ed.) Women in History Rivers and
Bayelsa States Experience. Onyoma Research Publication.
[13] Jaja, J.M. and Aba-Erondu, N. (2000) Fundamentals of Government and Political Science.
Springfield Publishers. Ltd. Owerri.
[14] Mba N.(1992) “Heroines of the Women’s War” in Awe B(ed.) Nigerian Women in Historical
Perspective. Sancore and Books craft Ltd.
[15] Manthrope, C.A. (1982) “Men’s Science, Women’s Science, or Science? Some issues Related
to the Study of Girls in Science Education” Studies in Science Education. 9.
[16] Moulton, R. (1979) “Psychological Challenges Confronting Women in the Science”. In Anne
Briscoe and Shella Pfaffin (eds.) Expanding the role of Women in the Sciences Annals of the
New York. Academy of the Sciences. Vol. 323.
[17] Sherman, J. (1979) Predicting Mathematics performance in High School Girls and Boys.
Journal of Educational Psychology. 71(2).
[18] Simone de Beauvoir (1972) The Second sex. Trans. And edited, H.M. Parshley, Penguin
[19] Okoroma, N.S. (2006) The Paradigm of Women Access to University Education. Implications
for Development in Nigeria. Sophia 9 (1)
[20] Wells, J. (1998) Maternal Politics in Organizing Black South African Women: The Historical
lessons. In Nnaemeka (ed.) Sisterhood Feminism and Power. Africa World Press, Inc. Trenton,
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Women and Community Development: Opobo and

Elele – Alimini Examples in Rivers State, Nigeria

Jones M. Jaja
Institute of Foundation Studies, Rivers State University of Science and Technology
P.M.B. 5080, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
E-mail: jonesalali@yahoo.com
Tel: 08033168998, 08056049778

Joy Agumagu
Department of Educational Foundation
Rivers State University of Science and Technology, P.M.B. 5080
Port Harcourt, Rivers State

The famous philosopher Aristotle in his book Politics stated that men were more intelligent
and superior to women; that it was the natural function of the men to rule while women
were to be subordinates. This view became the philosophical foundation for a male
chauvinistic society that has wrought tremendous damage to the developmental potentials
of women. However, in recent times, there is a growing realization that women constitute a
positive engine of development and progress in any given society. This paper therefore
argues that community development will be incomplete if women are completely excluded
from participating in community developmental process. It examines the extent of women
involvement in community development using formal women groups as developmental
vehicle. The study used Opobo Kingdom and Elele - Alimini in Rivers State as case

Development is a process, a movement towards a condition that some of the world’s nations are
supposed to have attained. Accordingly, the term “development” essentially constitutes a division
between rich nations and poor nations.
Development is the act or process of developing, expansion or growth. Development has been
seen as closely related in meaning to growth. In reality growth connotes development, development
equally implies some form of growth which is difficult to measure except through the use of indices of
growth. It is obvious that development is one of the most frequently used and yet one of the least
adequately understood.
The term “development” must be referred to organisms. Generally it is a change in the
character of an organism by which it acquires new qualities making possible an enhanced mastery of
its environment. For society, it is clearer for Marxists. For them social development is a change of
forces and relations of production, resulting in a new and more productive mode of production, social
formation or stage in existence of a mode of production or social formation. The new form is equipped
with new novelties in technology, organization, goods and social control, giving society or its ruler’s
new powers. (Mabogunje 1977: 11).
Although generally by “development” people tend to mean “economic development”, social
development embraces economic, political, cultural and ideological aspects. Again, it is the Marxist
that make the matter clearer, because no mode of production or social function exist without political,
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

cultural and ideological concomitants that come into existence with and are peculiar to it (Ozo – Eson
and Ukiwo 2001: 25).
Udo Etuk (1998: 41) on the other hand sees “development” as a neutral concept with respect to
its connotations. He argues that development is used today especially in political and economic
discourses to mean a change from a less desirable to a more desirable condition, characterized by
economic productivity, high standard of living, technological advancement stable political order, the
presence of basic human needs such as food, water, clothing and shelter and a high literacy and
educational level. Ucheaga (1999: 102) emphasized that full-fledged development can only be realized
through free and composite participation of males and females. That is from its humanity and
humanness. In other words from the point of general welfare of human beings. How does all this relate
to community development? This we shall now turn to.

Conceptualizing Community Development

The concept of community development is germaine to the understanding of this effort. The ordinary
conceptions of a community refer to a group of people living in a geographic location having common
origin and customs and are considered as a whole (Akpovire 1966: 84). The community is
conceptualized as a solidarity institution, with primary interaction and as institutionally distinct groups.
Those spheres or institutions of the society whose functions are to produce solidarity define community
as solidarity institution. Such institutions could include the family, ethnic groupings, voluntary
organizations and residential groups. Community as primary interaction is defined not only on
institutional context but also on the nature of interaction. Therefore, community may refer to
interpersonal interaction characterized by informal relationships. An institutional distinct community
may be looked at as a group of people that share a range of economic, social and political institutions
on the basis of their belonging to some familiar social category.
It is therefore safe to infer that the most basic criteria or elements that define a community are
common tie, solidarity, which exist in both rural and urban areas. However, while rural communities
are simple with face to face contact that of urban areas are complex and multidimensional. It is
possible to assume that communities are just groups of people living together. It is important however,
to note that while all communities are societies, not all societies are communities (Marcia 1974).
These basic elements of communities, that is common ties and solidarity are often instrumental
to the success of community projects and programmes. These elements engender communal or people
participation in all facets of community development projects. This explains why community
development approach to socio-economic development has increasingly become something of a vogue
in Third World countries since after World War II (Jaja 2001: 84).
The concept of community development according to Jaja (2001: 84) was defined as far back as
1948, at the Cambridge Summer Conference on African Administration as:
“a movement designed to promote better living for the whole community with the active
participation and if possible on the initiative of the community, but if this initiative is not
forthcoming spontaneously, by the use of techniques for arousing and stimulating it in
order to secure its active and enthusiastic response to the movement”.
Christian Missionaries adopted community development approach (by way of self-help efforts)
to encourage different communities to build and maintain schools and health institutions. The colonial
district officers adopted the same methods to encourage communities to build roads and bridges. After
independence, many African political leaders were quick to seize the opportunities which were present
by community self help activities. Many African governments established community development
divisions in their different ministerial organizations in order to give support to community
development efforts by different communities.
Community development gained international recognition that the United Nations in 1956
defined it as;

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

“The process by which the efforts of the people themselves are united with those of
governmental authorities to improve the economic, social and cultural conditions of
communities, to integrate these communities into the life of the nation and to enable them
to contribute fully to national process” (Jaja 2001: 85).
That is, community development consists of participation by the people themselves in efforts to
improve their level of living and the provision of technical and social services in ways that encourage
initiative and self help. Community development moreover, serves a political purpose by setting up an
atmosphere in which government and the people can co-operate and achieve development.
Often community development activities are aimed at promoting, sustaining, supporting and
maintaining community action. Such actions cover a wide range of issues such as housing, information
acquisition and dissemination, provision of social services such as water, road etc, establishing and
sustaining financial institutions and many other projects. As is to be expected in most communities, the
project embarked upon by any community at any given time is a function of so many factors, the most
important being the severity of the deprivation of the absence of that service to the community. That
explains why Jaja pointed out that community development can be viewed as a process, a movement, a
method and as a programme of human action (Jaja 2001: 87).
Women form the bulk of our rural populace and they are intimate with the home and the
environment and therefore in a better position to articulate the most pressing needs of the community.
Men have significantly interfered in the developmental goals of the women with severe consequences
for the welfare of the womenfolk. The result of this was the formation of women groups aimed at
executing of developmental objectives without the domineering intervention of men. A number of such
organizations had been established in the past. They include the Nigerian women’s Union (1949); the
women’s movement Ibadan (1952) Federation of Nigeria women societies (1953) and the National
Council of Women’s Societies (1959); the International Democratic Federation (1974). Better Life for
Rural Women (1987); National Women’s Commission (1990) etc (Agbola 1996: 127).
It must be pointed out that the ultimate goal of women groups are to emancipate their families
from the grip of poverty, disease, ignorance and servitude (Oruche 2004: 10), develop their societies
and have equal access to all available opportunities as the men. Let us examine how these were
pursued in Opobo kingdom and Elele Alimini both in Rivers State.

The Context of the Study

This study of women and community development is based on the case studies of Opobo Kingdom and
Elele-Alimini. Opobo is in the Opobo/Nkoro local government area with a population of 51,000 by the
1991 census figure while Elele-Alimini is in the Emuoha Local Government Area with a population of
12,000 (National Population Commission 1991: 38). Opobo Kingdom has fourteen major settlements
while Elele–Alimini has ten wards and thirty-eight farmsteads. Both communities are essentially semi
rural with Fishing and Agriculture as the main occupation of the inhabitants.
Opobo is a coastal zone area with marked limitation in farmland and severe infrastructure
deficiency on fishing gear. It is evident that manufacturing (46%) and processing (42%) thrive on
imported raw materials. A distinct feature of coastlands, which attracts a lot of human attention and
vandalism, is the presence of beaches. Of note are the near – shore, foreshore and backshore zones. As
a result of constant action by waves and tides, erosion and deposition are continuous phenomena,
which ensure the dynamic changes, which occur almost daily at the beach sites.
Elele – Alimini is of a generally high elevations interrupted by small valleys. Most of the area
lies between 275 and 614 metres above sea level with the highest point somewhere in the central area,
which runs towards Ndele town. Intense cultivation of cassava and yam has turned most parts of the
usual rainforest into a manageable forest. Elele – Alimini is supplied with electricity unlike Opobo. But
both communities have no potable water. The road conditions in Elele – Alimini are generally bad and
this might have informed the shortages of commercial vehicles and thus the high cost of transportation.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Rather motto-bikes and bicycles are the major sources of transportation. Community facilities such as
civic centres, town halls post offices etc. which are the statutory responsibility of different tiers of
government have been constructed through communal efforts. Both areas however have a number of
primary and secondary schools.

Data were obtained from structured questionnaires about socio-economic characteristics, purpose,
finance and achievements of organizations. To ensure complete coverage of our study area, the two
communities were divided into five zones as follows:
Zone A! Opobo Town
Zone B! Kalaibiama and Opukalama
Zone C! Queens town and Kalama
Zone D! Omokpiriku and Mgbuayim
Zone E! Omuse and Omeneta
Five major settlements constituted the zones. Five out of these zones (the biggest settlements in
each zone and in which most women are concentrated) were chosen for this study and these were
Opobo town, Kalaibiama, Queens town, Mgbuayim and Omuse zones.
A total of 500 questionnaires were administered on households selected randomly. The first
adult woman above the age of eighteen and literate was served with questionnaire. Eventually 480
questionnaires were retrieved from all the districts.
A total of 66 organizations which were social, religious, economic or trade union were noted,
based on the nature of projects undertaken or service rendered. These were supplemented with
interviews with members of the community.

The findings are categorized into two. The first show various attributes and deductible differences from
the questionnaire, while the second analyzes the nature of community development by women in these
two communities.

Women Status in the Past

For women the past had been inglorious. They were neglected, discriminated against and inferiorized.
They were to be seen but not heard and this has been a cause of concern throughout history. In the past
the Nigerian woman is docile, passive and accepts her position, as Gods will. Thus regardless of
education hardly believes in her self and others to influence her own destiny. This is despite their
overwhelming numerical strength, in a male – dominated society. A woman’s intellectual attainment
was of little consequence. In the words of Samuel Johnson
“a man is in general better pleased when he has a good
dinner upon his table, than when his wife talks Greek”
(in Landis 1974: 156).
What women do and the importance attached to them are so under – valued, under – scored,
unrecognized, unrecorded and sometimes unappreciated by their chauvinistic male counterparts who
are by nature domineering. In reality women had penetrated virtually all places and all aspects of
human endeavour, but very little attention had been focused on this group and their contributions (Jaja
1996: 64). Generally, those of their husbands or male counterparts usually subsume their achievements
and contributions.
Women are aware of their well-defined social and political functions within society in addition
to their revered roles of wife and mother (Udoywomen and Ozumba 2004: 91). Her duties included
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

cooking, feeding the family members and keeping the family tidy and contributing to her family
budget. Women as agents and creators of history can also be discerned from the work they perform in
agriculture, in the formal sector, in their homes and even in others homes, all of which have shifted
into historical purview even though its significance remains under studied (Jaja 1996: 64). All over the
world, they have come to realize that as a gender, they are marginalized. This feeling of inferiority and
oppression is assuming a greater dimension as more women attempt to place themselves in proper
historical perspective, as they assert themselves in community development.

Women in Community Development

From our findings from the field the types of organizations can be categorized into traditional,
religious, social clubs, trade unions and economic organizations. Available evidence shows that most
of these groups were small with membership of between 10 and 40. In Opobo Kingdom 40 women
groups were identified while in Elele – Alimini 26 Of these 56% have membership of between 10 and
40, 28% between 41 and 70 while 16% have a membership of 100 and above in Opobo. In Elele –
Alimini, the distribution is 46%, 33% and 21%. Serious minded organizations made efforts to
formalize their activities to gain government recognition and assistance from government agencies.
One sure way of getting such recognition is by registering with the appropriate authorities in the area.
Surprisingly 65% of these women groups did not register with the authorities. Similarly, many of them
have no written constitutions another indicator by which the seriousness of the organization is
One possible reason most (80%) of the women organizations fund their development projects
through individual contributions was their lack of constitutions making it difficult for government or its
agencies to assist. Despite the funding of projects themselves, these organizations did not restrict the
use of such projects to members alone. Such projects are for the whole community although the choice
of projects and location is often the exclusive preserve of members based on decision of their officials.
However most organizations were anxious to access financial and technical assistance from
government and its agencies.

Women Potentials in Community Development

The willingness, enthusiasm and ability of women to actively participate in community development in
the two communities are unparalleled, but were conditioned by socio- economic factors. These
economic factors severely limit the effectiveness of women contribution in community development.
Our findings show that most of the surveyed (371 out of the 480 respondents or 72%) were
married, while 30.2% and 43.1% were between the ages of 29 – 42 and 43 – 55 respectively. Many of
these women are within the economically active age bracket and consequently could materially and
otherwise contribute to the development of their groups and by extension to the community
The educational characteristics and occupational background affected their income profile and
therefore the kind of projects initiated in the community. In Opobo for instance women solely built the
post office, a wing of primary school, pasonate of St. Paul’s Church, the Co-operative centre, bridges,
waiting halls, donation of books and trophies to schools. In Elele – Alimini most of the women 70%
were without formal education, 10.5% had primary education, 13.7% secondary and 5.7% had post
secondary education. Without formal educational certificate, a pre-requisite for formal employment
and higher paying private sector jobs, better jobs continue to elude them. It is not surprising therefore
that in Opobo 20.5% of the women were into fishing and fish related occupation, 35.7% were traders,
10.1% were civil servants, 9.10% were artisans and 24.6% were a motley collection of occupations
such as contractors, students evangelists etc.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Similarly in Elele – Alimini the occupational distribution is not remarkably different as our
findings showed. 46.7% of the women were farmers, 34.5% were traders, 7.1% were civil servants,
7.1% artisans and 4.6% in other occupations.
The import of this is that the level intensity and effectiveness of women effective contribution
to community development process may be severely hampered by education.

An examination of various projects undertaken by the women reflects the mix types of organizations in
the two communities. Moreover, they demonstrate the zeal of women to break through the cycle of
poverty by their commitment to self-help through membership of women organizations. However,
none of the projects seem to identify and address the fundamental problems militating against women
and therefore of their organizations which is the educational development of women.
The women made themselves relevant to their various communities by fulfilling their social
and religious obligations, but forgot themselves. There was no project devoted to the training or
retraining of women in terms of training centres or adult education centres. These are vital in getting
women into community development stream.
It must be pointed out that socio-economic factors seem to have adversely affected
formalization of woman organizations and by inference, the type of assistance they could get from
public and private sectors. The time frame for completing their projects and therefore its impact on the
community and the ultimate emancipation of women. Our findings show that 64% of the women
groups were not registered with the necessary agencies and 61% had no constitution. These lapses may
not be unconnected with the level of education of women in the organizations.
These anomalies in turn affect women because without appropriate registration these
organizations cannot operate as known entities which not only can sue but also be sued or which can
source for financial and or technical aid from government or private sector. Were these organizations
registered, they may be eligible to various assistance available from time to time. Moreover, they may
be recipients of sound technical advice indispensable to the community developmental goals of these
Finally, given the important place of women in the survival of any nation, the development of
Opobo Kingdom, Elele – Alimini and indeed Nigeria will be incomplete without the active
participation of women along side their male counterparts. Women’s great potentials cannot be
effectively tapped and harnessed for the common good of the community except the traditions and
customs that relegate them to the background are completely eliminated. It is our view that educating
women is the best investment of all as this would in turn improve their programmes and projects in the
two communities and yield beneficial results that would better their environments and their overall
economic and social status.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Agbola, T. (1996) “Women and the Development Process. A Study of Rural Women’s
Organization in Community Development in Nigeria” in Yomi Oruwari (ed.) Women
Development and the Nigerian Environment.
[2] Akpovire, B.O. (1960) Evaluation of Training Programmes for Community Development
Agents in Bendel State of Nigeria. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Ibadan.
[3] Etuk, U. (1998) “Ethical Conditions of Human Development in Twenty First Century Africa”
in Oladipo, O. Remaking Africa: Challenges of the Twenty First Century. Ibadan Hope
[4] Jaja, J.M. (2001) Issues in Government and history. Springfield Publishers. Owerri.
[5] Jaja, J.M. (1996) “Gender Studies and Nigerian History” in Women, Development and the
Nigerian Environment. Yomi Oruwari (ed.) Vantage Publishers (int.) Ltd. Ibadan.
[6] Landis (1974) Sociology: Concepts and Characteristics California: Wadsworth publishing.
[7] Mabogunje (1977) on Development and Underdevelopment University Lecture, University of
[8] Marcia, C.L.(1974) “The Community: Approaches and Applications”. London. Free press.
[9] Nelson, N. (1981) African Women in Development Process. London. Frankeass.
[10] Oruche, J.O. (2004) “Women and National Development” in Vanguard Newspaper May 12.
[11] Ozo – Eson, Pand Ukiwo, U. (2001) Ideology and African Development: Proceedings of the
Third memorial Programme in honour of Prof. Claude Ake. Centre for Advanced Social
Science and African Centre for Democratic Governance.
[12] Udoywomen, Fand Ozumba, G. (2004) “Women and National Development: The Nigerian
Experience” in Sophia: An African Journal of Philosophy Vol.7, No.1.
[13] Ucheaga, D.N. (1999) “The Centrality of Women in Development in Nigeria” in Ozumba, G.O.
et al (ed.) Nigeria: Citizenship Education. Aba. Vitalis books.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Promoting Civic Training among Primary School Pupils

Through the “School Civics Clubs”: The
Botswana Experience

Josiah.O. Ajiboye
Department of Primary Education, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
E-mail: ajiboyejo@mopipi.ub.bw
Tel: +267-74176526; Fax: +267-3185096

Botswana is rated one of the most successful democracies in Africa and it is currently
regarded as a model of African democracy (Preece and Mosweunyane, 2004). Since the
country got her independence in 1966, there have been successful transfer of power from
one elected President to another. However, today there are many challenges facing the
sustenance of democracy and democratic values in the country. These challenges range
from ethnicity, sharing of political values, economy, youth restiveness and perhaps the
volatile land issues. These challenges have called for an immediate strategy for sustaining
democracy in the country. Evidence currently abounds of an upsurge in the crime rates
especially among the youths. These problems call for a need to target the children and
youths for a re-orientation and engagement, in a more articulated way, through civic
education. The paper therefore presents a report of a study on the use of an informal civic
education programme through the school civic clubs, developed and implemented in
Botswana. Pupils from ten primary schools were exposed to a series of civic activities
through the club and their civic- related knowledge, attitudes and practices were measured
before, during and after the project activities. The results showed a great positive impact of
the intervention on the three parameters measured. It is therefore recommended that the
experience could be replicated in other settings both locally in Botswana and in other

Keywords: Civics, Civic Education, Civic Club, Civic Knowledge, Civic Attitudes, Civic
Practices, Botswana

Botswana is rated one of the most successful democracies in Africa and it is currently regarded as a
model of African democracy (Preece and Mosweunyane, 2004). Since the country got her
independence in 1966, there have been successful transfers of power from one democratically elected
President to another. However, today there are many challenges facing the sustenance of democracy
and democratic values in the country. This challenges ranges from ethnicity, sharing of political values,
economy, youth restiveness and perhaps the volatile land issues. These challenges have called for an
immediate strategy to sustain democracy in the country. The militaristic culture also imported into the
country through the media, especially films and cable media, have also led to the escalation of culture
of violence in the country of recent. Evidence abounds of an upsurge in crime rates especially among
the youths (Preece and Mosweunyane, 2004).
All these called for a need to target the children and the youths for a re-orientation and engage
them in a more articulated way through civic education.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

To introduce a new subjects in the schools, called “Civic education” may not be feasible, as the
school time-table is already over-crowded. Therefore, this study is focusing on using an informal
approach through the school civic clubs. The Botswana vision 2016 also placed a strong emphasis on
the major five principles of development, democracy, self-reliance, unity, and the Botho (Vision,
2016). If these objectives of education are to be realized, a major strategy based on research should be
put in place.

Why Civic Education?

It could be argued that there are already some subjects in the school that teaches aspects of civics and
citizenship education, why then do we need another programme of this nature. The answer to that is,
whereas in all these subjects emphasis is place on theoretical learning, in the approach being proposed
here, pupils will be able to put what they have learnt into actions through various club activities.
The literature includes many kinds of indictments of the current state of civic education, and
some of these are:
• Generally,citizenship education has been neglected; it has been assigned a low curriculum
priority; and their student outcomes are frequently not specified (Boyer, 1990; Eveslage, 1993;
Firklestein, 1993; Goolad, 1986; Hyland, 1985; Patrick, 1987; Pereira, 1988). Specially,
Goodlad writes “one of the most surprising shortcomings of the curriculum planning process is
the general absence of any continuing, sustained appraisal of what is essential for young people
to learn”
• Lack of meaning – often, teachers’ present isolated facts apart from any context that might give
meaning to those facts (Goodlad, 1986; Newmann, 1987; 1989, Patrick, 1987).
• Irrelevance- teachers do not typically connect classroom content to students’ life experiences or
to contemporary issues of interest to them (Blankenship, 1990; Hyland, 1985).
• Limited, Shallow Text Content- Most social studies texts used for citizenship education are
restricted in their content, superficial in their treatment of subject matter, and presents facts
apart from their context (Avery,et al. 1992,Eveslage, 1993)
Other deficiencies in the current way civic education is being taught in schools presently as
documented in literature are: passive learning, lack of training in thinking and process skills, lack of
focus on right, teacher control, student obedience, low- track students, low quality curriculum, text-
bound instruction, inappropriate assessment etc. Generally, researchers and other writers also express
considerable dismay over the inadequate preparation of teachers for providing civics education and the
insufficient support provided by schools. The social studies teachers who are mainly to provide
adequate explanations in key issues according to Kickbusch (1987) in his classroom observational
study, reveals “a paucity of teaching skills with which to support civic education goals”.
Nearly all writers in the subject of citizenship education agree that it is essential for preserving
a country’s democratic way of life. Indeed, they often remind us that the main purpose of schooling is
the preparation of competent citizens (Centre for Civic Education, 1994). Many contemporary people,
too, believe that education’s chief purpose is to equip students with knowledge, skills, and values
needed to function effectively as citizens of a democratic society (Wood, 1998). Even those who cite
other educational goals as equally important (e.g., Boyer, 1990) still concur that citizenship education
is a significant aim of the schooling process.

What is Civic Education?

Bratts (as quoted by Hoge, 1988) defines civic education as “explicit and continuing study of the basic
concepts and values underlying our democratic community and constitutional order”. The Thesaurus of
Eric Descriptors says that civic education consists of:
learning activities, curriculum, and /or educational programmes at any educational level,
concerned with rights and responsibilities of citizenship- the purpose is to promote
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

knowledge, skills, and attitudes conducive to effective participation in civic life

(Honston, 1990: 37)

Objectives of Civic Education

While the researchers and other civic education scholars are not in total consonance about the ideal
results of citizenship education, there is considerable agreement about the desirability and the
following outcomes:
1. Democratic values- Prepared citizens understand and are committed to such values as:
justice, freedom, equity, due process, property, participation, truth, patriotism, human right,
rule of law, tolerance, civic responsibility etc (Drisko, 1993, Levitt and Longstreet, 1993).
2. The common Good- Citizens, in order to be effective, need to act from respect for the
common good; that is, they need to be willing to deliberate about the nature of the public
good and how to achieve it. They also need to possess compassion, ethical commitment,
social responsibility and a sum of interdependence among people and between people and
their environment (Adler, Luhn, and Philbim, 1993, Pereira, 1995).
3. Knowledge- Effective civic education results in knowledge and understanding of our
nation, the structure of government, the political process, and the global context in which
our country functions (Colville and Clarken, 1992).
4. Thinking Skills- competent citizens require skills in higher-level thinking process- critical
reasoning, problem solving, perspective- taking, and divergent thinking –constructing
hypotheses, and evaluating evidence (Berman, 1990; Callom, 1994).
5. Social process skill- Social skills identified as critical for high- functioning citizens include
communication, conflict management, and consensus building, and working in cooperative
endeavors (Fowler, 1990).
6. Student Attitudes –Effectives civic education influences students in such a way that they
believe in the efficacy of civic participation, are interested in participating, and have a
feeling of obligation to participate (Angell, 1991, Hoge 1988).

The Study
The current efforts at citizenship education in Botswana is not producing the desired results, hence,
there is a need for a new approach in order to meet the country’s target of vision 2016 of producing
effective and functional citizenry. This study therefore developed and implemented an informal civic
education programme through the ‘school civic clubs’. This is a participatory approach to civic
education. Students were exposed to a series of civic activities through the club and their civic –related
knowledge, attitudes and practices were measured before, during and after the project activities.
Specifically, the study attempted to achieve the following:
1. Developed an informal civic education programme for Botswana primary schools.
2. Implemented the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) civic education
programme so developed.
3. Evaluated the impact of the IEC on the pupils’ civic-related knowledge, attitudes and
4. Documented the processes involved in the research in a publication for dissemination and
replication in the whole of Botswana and other countries.
5. Established model clubs in schools involved in the study.

Research Questions
1. Will there be a change in civic-related knowledge, attitudes and practices of the pupils exposed
to the informal civic education programme, before and after the project?
2. Will the participants’ gender influence their civic- related knowledge?
3. What is the general pattern of pupils’ beliefs and opinions regarding some salient civic issues?

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

The one- group, time series research design was employed in the study. With this design, standards six
and seven pupils from ten primary schools in Botswana constituted the group and the repetitive
measures of the group were taken in three stages – before the commencement of the project, during and
at the end of the project. This design also made use of the participatory approach, where the
participants were involved in developing the project IEC materials and even the implementation stages.
This design according to Kahn and Best (1981) allows for a researcher to take observation in a group
of subjects over a period of time.
Pupils in standard VI and VII in ten primary schools in Gaborone and Francistown constituted
the subjects for the study. The ten schools were randomly selected from the list of schools obtained
from the Ministry of Education. Initially, five standard VI pupils were selected from each school for
the orientation programme, focus group discussions and the civic education IEC programme
development. This cohort of subjects constituted the core group that was involved in programme
development and they went back to their various schools after the initial training to start the civic
clubs. From each of the selected schools, one teacher, specifically, the social studies teacher was
selected to participate in the sensitization workshop/training. They eventually served as the club
Advisor/Adviser for their school. When the clubs were formed in the schools, each school club actually
had not less than 50 club members, yielding a total 500 subjects in all. Data was collected using an
estimated number of four hundred (400) participants. The civics Information, Education, and
Communication activities were implemented through the civics clubs in each school. These activities
included: lectures/symposia and debates in civics issues, video shows on governmental activities and
civic activities, visits by clubs members to the parliament, Local government, the University, Courts
etc to observe the running of government. It also included participatory activities within the school and
in the local communities –meeting on Saturdays for environmental sanitation activities and other civic
duties in their area.
These activities were carried out by the pupils with the support of the teacher-cooperators and
the researchers. The activities spanned over a ten –week period. To evaluate the impact of the IEC
activities on the pupils’ civic –related knowledge, attitudes and practices, the civic knowledge,
attitudes and practices (CKAP) developed and validated by the researcher were administered on the
participants before and after the civic IEC activities. This repetitive measures was to enable the
researchers monitor changes in knowledge, attitude and practices over time, rather than a one –shot
approach which may not give a total, comprehensive picture of programme effectiveness. It also
allowed the researchers make changes where and when necessary. Data collected were analyzed using
both the qualitative and qualitative methods. For the quantitative data, percentages, means, and t-test
were used to analyze the data.

Results & Discussion

The findings from the research are presented in this section. The first thing addressed was the
participants’ knowledge of civic concepts and issues before and after their participation in the club
activities. The question was, whether there was any change in their knowledge due their participation
in the club activities. The summary of the finding is presented in Table 1.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 1: Pattern of Pupils’ Scores in Civic Knowledge Test.

Pre Post
Right % Wrong% Right% Wrong%
Q1 206(57.2) 154(42.8) 340(85.0) 60(15.0)
Q2 335(93.1) 25(6.9) 385(96.3) 15(3.7)
Q3 328(91.1) 32(8.9) 376(94.0) 24(6.0)
Q4 325(90.30 35(9.7) 377(94.0) 23(5.8)
Q5 273(75.8) 87(24.2) 310(77.5) 90(22.5)
Q6 109(30.3) 251(69.7) 147(36.8) 253(63.2)
Q7 225(62.5) 135(37.5) 284(71.2) 115(28.8)
Q8 229(83.1) 61(16.9) 334(83.5) 66(16.5)
Q9 347(96.4) 13(3.6) 380(95.0) 20(5.0)
Q10 324(90.0) 36(10.0) 353(88.3) 47(11.8)
Q11 68(18.9) 292(81.1) 148(37.2) 250(62.8)
Q12 130(36.1) 230(63.9) 133(33.3) 266(66.7)
Q13 104(28.9) 256(71.1) 172(43.2) 226(56.8)
Q14 317(88.1) 43(11.9) 348(87.0) 52(13.0)
Q15 110(30.6) 250(69.4) 144(36.1) 255(63.9)
Q16 193(53.6) 167(46.4) 262(65.5) 138(34.5)
Q17 142(39.4) 218(60.6) 116(29.1) 284(70.9)
Q18 71(19.8) 288(80.2) 127(32.1) 269(67.9)
Q19 226(63.0) 133(37.0) 293(73.6) 105(26.4)
Q20 246(68.5) 113(31.5) 289(72.6) 109(27.4)

From Table 1, it could be noted that there is a general improvement in the pupils’ knowledge of
civic issues after they were exposed to the intervention activities. Specifically, with regards to question
1 which asks about the year of independence of Botswana, while 57.2% of the pupils got the answer
correctly before the IEC activities, a great majority, i.e. 85.0% of the pupils got the answer correctly
after the intervention. Similarly with regards to item 7, asking about the name of the current president
of Botswana, 62.5% of the pupils got the answer correctly before intervention, while this rose to 71.2%
after the intervention. Furthermore, it could be seen that the pupils’ knowledge of the definition of
Social Studies, functions of citizens, etc as requested in questions 16, 17 and 18 are generally poor as
shown in the percentage of those who got the answers correctly before and after the intervention
activities. It is gratifying to note that the pupils generally know where to go when to go when they fall
sick as shown in their scores in question 9(96.4% and 95%, before and after respectively). Finally
when the pupils were asked to give a name to a group of people living together in a locality, 68.5%
correctly defined it as a community before intervention, while 72.6% of the sample defined it same
way after intervention.
In order to show the efficacy of the civic IEC intervention activities, the knowledge of the
pupils before the intervention was compared with their civic-related knowledge after the intervention
using a t-test. The summary is presented in Table 2.

Table 2: T-test Comparison of the Pre and Post-Test Knowledge Scores of the Whole Sample.

Group n x SD t p
Pre-test 344 12.21
2.89 -1.36 00*
Post-test 344 13.57
*significant @P<.05

The question addressed here was “are the activities able to improve the pupils’ knowledge of
civic issues?” This we did by comparing the pre and post test knowledge scores of the whole sample. It
is important to stress that although the difference in the pre and post test knowledge scores seems slim,
it was however found to be statistically significant. In effect the pupils’ participation in the civic club
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

activities has helped them to improve on their knowledge of the civic issues in question. Therefore, the
efficacy of this informal approach in developing appropriate civic knowledge, attitudes and skills in
learners is not in doubt. Efforts should therefore be made to entrench the clubs in all schools and
intensify the activities.
On the whole, it could be deduced that the intervention IEC activities actually impacted
positively on the pupils’ general knowledge of civic issues in discourse.
The pupils’ attitudes to civic issues were also taken before and after the intervention activities
and the results are presented in Tables 3(a) and (b).

Table 3a: Pupils’ Attitudes to Civic Issues (Before Intervention)

Yes No
n (%) n (%)
1. Good at expressing opinion 259(73.4) 94(26.6)
2. Good at planning things 298(84.2) 56(15.8)
3. Important to work for positive social change 282(80.3) 69(19.7)
4. Like to be actively involved in community issues 272(77.1) 81(22.9)
5. Try to help when see people in need 335(94.1) 16(4.6)
6. Always tell the truth 333(94.1) 21(5.9)
7. Keeping community clean 77(21.8) 277(78.2)
8. Willing to help others without payment 281(80.5) 68(19.5)
9. It is important for people to follow rules 341(96.3) 13(3.7)
10. Important to be interested & follows local issues 310(88.1) 42(11.9)

Table 3b: Pupils’ Attitudes to Civic Issues (After Intervention)

Yes No
n % N %
1. Good at expressing opinion 310 78.3 86 21.7
2. Good at planning things 324 81.8 72 18.2
3. Important to work for positive social change 318 80.5 77 19.5
4. Like to be actively involved in community issues 325 82.3 70 17.7
5. Try to help when see people in need 383 96.7 13 3.3
6. Always tell the truth 358 90.4 38 9.6
7. Keeping community clean 94 23.7 302 76.3
8. Willing to help others without payment 339 85.8 56 14.2
9. It is important for people to follow rules 386 97.5 10 2.5
10. Important to be interested & follows local issues 348 88.1 47 11.9

From the two tables, it could be observed that there is no consistency in the pattern of the
attitudes of the pupils on the civic issues examined. While for some of the items, there was some
improvement in the perceptions of the pupils after the intervention activities, in some other items, the
attitude scores dropped. This is to confirm some previous observations in literature that it takes a long
time to change peoples’ attitudes. This study lasted only ten weeks, therefore it is not expected that
there will be a sudden change in the pupils’ attitudes to the civic issues. However, it could be
speculated that the more the pupils’ knowledge of civic issues increase, the better their attitudes to
civic issues as well. This is because even attitude which is an affective outcome depends on the
cognitive exposure. The more knowledge of a thing the pupils have, the better their attitude to that
thing or situation. Therefore, it is anticipated that as the pupils participate more in their civic club
activities, they will acquire more knowledge of civics and better attitudes to civic issues.
The study further examined gender influence on the pupils’ knowledge of civic issues and the
summary of the pre and post t-test comparison of their means are presented in Tables 4 a and b. What
was done here was to compare the mean knowledge scores of male and female pupils in the civic
issues examined. The comparison was to bring out, if any, gender influence on learning of civic issues.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 4a: (Pre-test): T-test Comparison of Boys and Girls Knowledge Scores in Some Civic Issues

Group n x SD t p
Boys 141 11.85
2.96 -1.97 .04*
Girls 213 12.46
*significant@ P<.05

Table 4b: (Post-test): T-test Comparison of Boys and Girls Knowledge Scores in Some Civic Issues

Group n x SD t p
Boys 137 13.39
2.90 -1.12 .26ns
Girls 205 13.72
Ns= Not significant

It could be observed from Tables 4(a) and (b) that girls tend to perform slightly better than boys
as shown in their mean scores before and after intervention. However, while the difference in means
was significant before intervention, after the intervention the mean scores of the two groups improved
and the slight difference noticed was found not to be statistically significant. In fact boys were able to
catch up rapidly in their knowledge of civic issues, from x = 11.85 before intervention to x = 13.39
after intervention.
As part of their civic activities, it was interesting to find out level of media usage among the
pupils. Three common media were examined in this study and the findings before and after the IEC
activities are presented in Tables 5(a) and (b).

Table 5a: (Pre-test) Pattern of Pupils’ Media Usage

Daily Always Not at all

n % n % n %
1. Television 112 38.4 140 47.9 40 13.7
2. Newspaper 94 33.9 65 23.5 118 42.6
3. Radio 97 35.3 111 40.4 67 24.4

Table 5b: (Post- test) Pattern of Pupils’ Media Usage

Daily Always Not at all

n % n % n %
1. Television 126 33.8 192 51.5 55 14.7
2. Newspaper 153 40.3 96 25.3 131 34.4
3. Radio 131 35.4 147 39.7 92 24.9

It could be observed that the most used of all the media outlet is the Television and the least
patronized is the newspaper, while the radio comes in between the two. It could be appreciated that in
this age of Information Communication Technology (ICT), with a lot of video games in circulation, the
Television becomes a very useful tool in accessing all these modern facilities. When prodded further, it
was discovered that the children rarely used the Television for news, but rather more intensely for
playing their games. However, it was gratifying to note that the children do use all these media at all

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 5c: (Pre-test): Type of News Listened to By Pupils

Yes No
n % n %
1. International news 150 45.7 178 54.3
2. National news 200 61.0 128 39.0
3. Local news 118 35.9 211 64.1
4. Sports news 147 45.0 180 55.0

One crucial aspect of media usage is news. We asked the children to indicate the type of news
they listen to or watch on Television. The findings are presented in Tables 5(c) and (d).

Table 5d: (Post-test): Type of News Listened to By Pupils

Yes No
n % n %
1. International news 189 47.8 206 52.2
2. National news 197 49.7 199 51.3
3. Local news 145 36.7 250 62.3
4. Sports news 140 35.4 254 64.6

It could be observed that less than 50% of our sample does listen to international news, both
before and even after intervention activities. On the other hand, National news enjoyed a strong
audience among the pupils. With regards to local news and sports news, the pupils indicate negative
patronage of those news items. While we could explain the pupils’ poor ratings on the local news,
because there are no local community-based newspapers, television and newspapers in Botswana, their
rating of the sports news seems strange. There is only one national television and one national radio
station and two others whose coverage is only limited to the capital, Gaborone. Botswana is a small
country of a population of 1.8 million, therefore anything that happens in any part of the country
becomes national news. However it is strange that pupils do not patronize sport news. Perhaps this may
be peculiar to our sample as youths in Botswana generally love sports. However sports reportage in the
country is still largely limited.
The study further examined pupils’ beliefs regarding some civic issues to determine their
feelings on those issues and the summary is presented in Tables 6a and b.

Table 6a: (Pre-test): Respondents’ Beliefs Regarding Some Civic Issues

Yes No
N % n %
1. Working with others can improve society 334 95.2 17 4.8
2. Youth can make impact on community decisions. 251 71.7 99 28.3
3. It is difficult for youth to improve society 134 38.4 215 61.6
4. Can personally make a difference in the community. 291 85.1 51 14.9
5. What is learnt in S/S is enough for civic training. 227 66.6 114 33.4
6. To learn more about civic issues 320 93.8 21 9.2
7. School civic club will help learn civic issues 311 90.9 31 9.1
8. Like to be a member of civic club 304 89.1 37 10.9

Here we attempted to gauge the opinions of the pupils on what impact the individuals and the
youth as a group could make in bringing about changes in their communities. We also attempted to
determine their opinion on the need for the introduction of the School Civic Clubs in their school.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 6b: (Post-test): Respondents’ Beliefs Regarding Some Civic Issues

Yes No
n % n %
1. Working with others can improve society 364 93.3 26 6.7
2. Youth can make impact on community decisions. 321 82.5 68 17.5
3. It is difficult for youth to improve society 180 46.2 210 53.8
4. Can personally make a difference in the community. 303 77.7 87 22.3
5. What is learnt in S/S is enough for civic training. 264 68.0 124 32.0
6. To learn more about civic issues 375 96.4 14 3.6
7. School civic club will help learn civic issues 366 94.3 22 5.7
8. Like to be a member of civic club 362 93.5 25 6.5

It could be observed from these two tables above (6a and b), that generally the pupils have a
strong desire to learn more about civic issues beyond what they learn in Social Studies. While they
agreed that Social studies teaches about civic issues more than any other subject in the previous
findings, they were still eager to learn more about civic issues beyond what Social Studies could
provide. This is demonstrated in the large percentage (about 93.8%) before and 96.4% after
intervention) that stated that they want to learn more. Similarly their views on the need for the club and
their intentions to become members were generally positive. In fact, this became evident with 89.1
%(before) and 93.5% of the sample indicating that they will like to become members of the School
Civic Clubs. The enthusiasm generated during the piloting of the IEC activities in the clubs in all the
schools actually stimulated a lot of the pupils to become willing and more interested in learning more
about civic issues through these clubs. Today, those civic clubs have now become a permanent feature
in those schools involved in the study.

This project was fashioned after a similar one conducted by Mansaray & Ajiboye (2000) for Nigeria
schools. That project was supported with a grant from the Office of Transition initiatives of the United
States Agency for International Development (USAID, OTI). Whereas the two projects focused on
civic education, their major goals were quite different. In the Nigerian project, the focus was to
introduce the participants to civic and democratic issues because most children in Nigeria primary and
secondary schools as at year 2000 never had any experience of democracy and democratic rule. Those
children were born during the solid years of military hegemony in the country (i.e. 1984-1999).
Therefore that project aimed at exposing that cohort of Nigerian children to issues of democracy and
democratic rule. On the other hand, for Botswana, the children have ever lived in a democracy since
the country never experienced military rule since independence in 1966. However, there were some
noticeable undemocratic practices among the youths in the country that needs to be targeted for
immediate action. Therefore, the focus of the Botswana project was to reinforce democracy and
democratic practices among the children.
It is however important to stress that in both projects, the use of the informal civic club approach
have yielded positive results in developing appropriate civic-related knowledge, attitudes and practices
among the participants. In most countries of the world, Botswana inclusive, the school time tables are
already overcrowded; therefore to introduce new subjects in schools becomes very difficult if not
impossible. For example, with the global attention on Climate Change, it may not be feasible to
introduce a new subject called “Climate Change” in schools. However, the informal approach
experimented with in this study could serve as a viable alternative to introducing new subjects to
address emerging issues in our societies. This approach has the potency to absorb such emerging issues
whenever they arise. It is therefore recommended here that this approach be utilized in absorbing other
emerging global issues including global climate change.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

This project was supported with a seed grant from the Office of Research and Development, University
of Botswana, Botswana.

[1] Adler, S.A.; Luhn, C.A.; and Phil bin, J. (1993).Participatory citizenship: Made and remade for
each generation. International Journal of Social Education, 8 (1), 67-74.
[2] Angel, A.V. (1991).Democratic Climate in Elementary Classrooms: A review of theory and
research. Theory and Research in Education, 9, (3), 241-266.
[3] Avery, P; Bird, K; Johnstone, S.; Sullivan, J.L. & Thalmmer, K. (1992). Exploring political
tolerance with adolescents. Theory and Research in Social Education, 20, (4), 386-420.
[4] Berman, S. (1990).Educating for social responsibility. Educational Leadership, 48, (3), 75-80.
[5] Blankenship, G. (1990).Classroom climate, global knowledge, global attitudes, political
attitudes. Theory and Research in Social Education, 18, (4), 363-386.
[6] Boyer, E.L. (1990).Civic Education for Responsible Citizens. Educational Leadership, 48, (3),
[7] Callan, E. (1994). Beyond Sentimental Civic Education. The American Journal of Education,
102: 109-221.
[8] Colville, J.K., and Clarke, R.H. (1992).Developing social responsibility through law-related
education. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Educational Research
Association, San Francisco, C.A,April,(Ed344870).
[9] DrisKo, J. (1993).The responsibilities of schools in civic education. Journal of Education, 175,
(1), 105-119.
[10] Eveslage, T.E.(1993).The social studies and scholastic journalism: Partners in Citizenship
Education. Social Education, 57 (2), 82-86.
[11] Finkelstein, J.M.; Nielsen, L.E.; & Switzer, T. (1993). Primary elementary social studies
instruction: A status report. Social Studies Education, 57, (2), 64-69.
[12] Goodlad, J.I. (1986).The learners at the World’s Center. Social Education, 50, (6), 5-6.
[13] Hoge, J, D. (1998). Civic education in schools. ERIC Digest. Bloomington, IN: ERIC Clearing
House for Social Studies/Science Education, December 1998 (ED 301-531).
[14] Houston, J.E. (Ed). (1990).Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors.12th Edition. Phoenix AZ Oryx
[15] Hyland, J.T. (1985).Teaching about the constitution: Relationships between teachers’ subject
matter knowledge, pedagogic beliefs and instructional decision making regarding selection of
content, materials and activities: Summary of research findings. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles
United School District, (ED273557).
[16] Kickbusch, K.W. (1987). Civic education and pre service educators: The boundaries of
discourse. Theory and Research in Social Education, 25, (3), 173-188.
[17] Levitt, G.A. & Longstreet, W.S (1993).Controversy and the teaching of authentic civic values.
The Social Studies, 84, (4), 142-148.
[18] Mansaray, A. & Ajiboye, J.O. (2000).Developing a participatory model in informal civics
education for secondary school pupils in rural and peri-urban areas of Nigeria. Technical
Report, Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), United States Agency for International
Development (USAID), Lagos, Nigeria.
[19] Newmann, F.M. (1987).Citizenship education in the United States: A statement of needs. Paper
presented at the National Conference on Civic Renewal, Boston, M.A, and November
[20] Newmann, F.M. (1989). Reflective civic participation. Social Education, 53, (6), 357-360,366.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[21] Patrick, J.J. (1988). Teaching the bills of rights. ERIC. Bloomington, IN: ERIC Clearing House
for Social Studies /Social Science Education, October (ED 298076).
[22] Pereira, C. (1988).Law-Related Education in Elementary and Secondary Schools. ERIC Digest.
Bloomington, IN: Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Science Education, (ED296948).
[23] Preece, J. &. Mosweunyane, D. (2004). Perceptions of Citizenship Responsibility Amongst
Botswana Youth. Botswana: Light Books
[24] Wood, G.H. (1988). The hope for civic education. Theory into Practice, 27(4):296-302.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Food Demand among HIV Households in

North Central, Nigeria

Okoruwa V. O
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Onwurah B. C
Lead City University Ibadan, Nigeria

Saka J. O
Institute of Agricultural Research & Training, Ibadan

Amidst growing concern on the impact of HIV/ADIDS on agricultural production and food
security globally, this study examines food demand situations among HIV/AIDS
households in Markudi, a capital city of Benue State which doubles as the food basket and
the second most HIV ravaged State in Nigeria.
An Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) model was used to estimate elasticities
of demand for major food items among HIV/AIDS households. The study shows that all
the food products are own-price inelastic as the elasticity estimates are less than unity.
Also, the cross price elasticity estimates are less than unity indicating that the possibilities
of substitution among the various categories of food items are limited. The income
elasticity estimates indicated that the estimates are positive and greater than unity for
animal protein, fruits and vegetables thereby implying thereby implying that the food items
are seen as luxuries by the HIV households though they are required in greater quantities
for an efficient disease management among HIV households. This situation is capable of
undermining the potential for healthy leaving among the HIV households especially when
their income is not improved. Hence policies targeted at improved nutritional intake among
HIV households need to consider improved household income.

Keywords: Food Demand, HIV Households, Nigeria

Various reports have presented a precarious food situation in Sub Sahara Africa and initially this has
been attributed to rapid population growth and declining fertility and consequently productivity of
arable lands (FAO 1998, 1996). The situation has further been worsened by the scourge of HIV/AIDS
and its attendant negative impact on manpower supply especially for agricultural production in the sub
region. Notable impacts including cultivation of fewer crops, disposal of farmland to pay for treatments
of the disease, withdrawal from farming activities to other vocations and outright disposal of farmlands
to generate income for financing cost of treatment for the disease have been reported in countries like
Zambia and Malawi (Mbaya 2002, Shah et al 2002 and UNAIDS 2003).
HIV infected farmers have also been found to sell more than their surplus production, sell too
many of their seeds and engaged in fewer farm investments subsequent upon which there are decline in
production, household income and consequently access to food which culminates in change in
household food demand (Loevinsohn and Gillespie 2003 and Hilhorst et al., 2004).
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

The consequential change in food demand of HIV households is of nutritional consequences

especially for PLWHAS whose nutritional requirements are about 50% greater for protein and 15%
greater for energy than for healthy people. However, UNAIDS (2004) report on Nigeria indicated that
the various interventions programme are yet to make appreciable impact on the incidence and burden
of the disease. The report concludes further that there are inadequate government funding alongside
stigma and discrimination which limits intervention expansion and sustainability. The bottom-line of
this is that, HIV households are much left to their own home-grown copping strategies of which their
food consumption pattern takes a central place.
Although literatures (Njoku and Nweke 1994; Duhaime et al 2002; Olarinde and Kuponiyi
2005; Giskees et al 2006) have established the influence of socioeconomic characteristics on
household access to production and social incentives, and by extension food consumption pattern
generally with significant influences impacted by such characteristics as household size, income, age of
household head, level of education of household head etc., A pertinent question to be answered
however is whether such general considerations could be appropriately adopted as same for vulnerable
groups like HIV households who are known to suffer neglects through stigmatization and
This paper thus seek to contribute to existing literature on household food consumption by
examining how food prices, expenditure and socioeconomic characteristics of households influences
their food demand in a population noted for food production but ravaged by HIV in Nigeria.

Data for this study were generated through a survey of 125 HIV households selected by 2-stage
sampling technique in Markudi, a capital city of Benue State which doubles as the food basket and the
second most HIV/AIDs ravaged State in Nigeria. The sampling frame comprises of all men and women
registered with support groups as having acknowledged their sero status as HIV positive. Lists were
drawn from 10 support groups at the first stage while 125 PLWHAS were selected from the support
groups randomly with probability proportional to size.
Data centering basically on consumption pattern, prices, expenditure and socio economic
characteristics were then collected from household heads through structured questionnaires. A 2-way
budgeting framework is used to model the food consumption behaviour of households as illustrated in
Fig. 1. The household is conceptualized in the utility tree as deciding at the first stage, the total
expenditure to be allocated to food consumptions vis-à-vis non food goods and then allocate food
expenditure on different types of food.

Figure 1: Utility tree for household Budgeting





Source: Adapted from M. M. Dey (2001)

Hence, household food expenditure is specified following Blundell et al (1993) as

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

M th = f ( Pf , Pnft ,Yt h , Z th )
where Pf = Index of food prices
Pnft = Index of non-food prices
Y = Total household income
T = Time period
Subsequently, household preference for a particular food group is specified as an almost ideal
demand system expressed as
sith = f ( PFt , Ft h )
Where S ith = Share of a particular food group in household food Expenditure.
PFt = Vector of price of different food groups
Ft h = Expenditure share for each household
in which case total household expenditure was disaggregated by food groups and the budget share of
each food category was estimated. An Almost Ideal Demand Systems model is then applied to estimate
elasticities of demand for the different food categories namely; cereals, legumes, root/tubers,
vegetables, oil, animal protein, fruit and beverages. The demand model is of the form:
⎡X ⎤
Wi ,h = α i + ∑ y ij log Pi ,h + φih Di ,h + β i log ⎢ Lh ⎥ + ε i , h (3.1)
j =1 ⎣P ⎦
Wi,h = budget shares for various food items i consumed by household, h
Di,h = vector of socioeconomic and demographic variables for the ith equation
ln Pi,h = the logarithm of food price consumed by household h
ln Xh = the logarithm of total food expenditure by household h
α i = a constant for the ith food
γ i , j = own or cross price elasticity
β i = expenditure coefficient of the ith food expenditure
φ i,h = Coefficient of the socioeconomic variables for the ith equation
PL = Laspeyres price index
ε i , h = random or stochastic disturbance with zero mean and constant variance for the ith food
demand by household h
For this study, AIDS model captures the following socioeconomic and demographic variables –
Household age (hhag), household size (hhsz), duration of being HIV positive (hivd), education (hhed),
general household income (hhin), household father’s income (hfin). With respect to food demand, the
parameters may be specified as:
Di , h = φhi ,1 hhag + φhi , 2 hhsz + φhi , 3 hivd + φhi , 4 hhed + φhi , 5 hhinc + φhi , 6 hhfin + φhi , 7
and when incorporated into the AIDS model, the econometric model estimated is explicitly of the form
Wi , h = α i + ∑ γ ij log Pj + β i [ EXP] + φhi ,1 hhag + φhi , 2 hhsz + φhi , 3 hivd + φhi , 4 hhed
j =1

+ φhi , 5 hhin + φhi , 6 hfin + ε i , h

In estimating the model, the Laspeyres price index (PL) is employed to linearize the AIDS
model before estimation. The price index (geometric weighted average of prices) is estimated
separately outside the model for all households before incorporating it in the demand equation. For the
food type i,
Price Index = PhL = ∑ w ln Pi , h (3.2)
i =1
where w = geometric mean budget of food type i.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

The estimated parameters are subject to the following restrictions:

n n n
Additivity: ∑
i =1
αi = 1, ∑i =1
γ ij = 0 , ∑
i =1
βi = 0
Homogeneity: ∑
j =1
γ ij = 0

Symmetry condition: γ ij = γ ji
The own price, cross price and income elasticities of the food groups are derived respectively
γ ii γ ij βi βi
from the estimates as: Eii = −1 + − β i , Eij = − w j and Ei = 1 +
wi wi wi wi

Results and Discussion

Socio-economic characteristics of HIV households
The distribution of the socio-economic characteristics is shown in Table 1. About 81% of the
household head are between the ages of 21 and 40 years old while 18.5% are between 41 and 60 years
old. The mean age of the household is 34years which implies that the households are still within their
active productive years and would as such demand enriched diet to provide adequate energy and health
for active production. Mean household size is 4.5 while the infected household have carried the
infection for an average of about 4 years. The household is predominantly educated with about 70%
having spent more than 12 years in formal school. Average household income is N 21,824 while half
of the households earn monthly income of less than N 20,000. Although the high literacy of the
population is expected to improve the level of awareness of the households as regards nutritional and
other requirements for effective management of the disease, the fact that about half the population earn
income of less than N 20000 could hinder their capabilities for procuring the more nourishing food
items required for the effective management.

Influence of household characteristics on food demand of HIV households

Table 2 presents the influence of household socio-economic characteristics on HIV household demand
for each category of food items. The result shows that older households stand to consume more of
root/tubers and cereals but as the households become large, there is tendency for the consumption of
cereal to decrease while the consumption of vegetables increases. Also, as infected household advances
in years as patient, consumption of beverages decreases while the years of educational attainment
enhances households’ consumption of root/tubers but decreases consumption of legumes. Also,
consumption of animal protein is enhanced by increase in household income at the expense of legumes
while increase in income of the household head only, decreases household consumption of vegetables.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 1: Socio-economic characteristics of HIV households

Characteristics Frequency Percentage

Age of Household
21-40 years 53 81.5
41-60years 12 18.5
Mean 34
Household Size (Mean) 4.5
Years as HIV patient Mean 3.9
Years of formal education
6 years or less 02 3.1
7-12 years 16 24.6
Above 12 years 47 72.3
Mean 13
Household Income
N 20,000 or less 33 50.0
N 21,000 – N 40,000 30 45.5
Above N 41,000 02 3.0
Mean N 21,824
Income of Household Head
N 20,000 or less 21 32.3
N 21,000 – N 40,000 40 61.5
Above N 41,000 4 6.2
Mean N 25759.83

The increase in consumption of starchy staples as households get older is an indication of

households preference for bulky foods to satisfy their energy need for increased physical activities but
increase in household size probably from increase in number of children of younger ages requires
improved nutrition to provide for healthy growth of the younger generation, hence starchy foods could
be substituted for vegetables to increase the vitamins enriched foods like vegetables. Contrary to
expectations however, the decrease in consumption of beverages as households’ advances in years as
patient negates the expected improved nutrient intake (e.g. vitamins) required for effective
management of the disease and this could be attributed to probable preference of the households to
spend on purchase of the expensive drugs rather than increase their consumption of beverages but.
Even level educational attainment does not change the preference of household for common staples for
the primary energy needs but improved household income understandably facilitates households’
preference for more quality expensive animal protein than plant protein supplied by pulses. However,
increase in income of the household held alone might not be enough to change the households’ pattern
of consumption in favour of the required increase in consumption of protein and vitamins.

Table 2: Influence of Socio economic Characteristics of Households on Food Demand by Categories.

W Hhag hhsz Hivd Hhed hhin Hfin

0.001475* -0.00332 -0.00066 6.65E-7* 6.65E-7 -7.71E-8
Root tuber
(0.0073) (0.3453) (0.7356) (0.364) (0.3646) (0.9194)
0.001420* -0.00895* 0.002848 -5.85E-7 -5.85 E-7 1.157 E-6
(0.00335) (0.0388) (0.2349) (0.5135) (0.5135) (0.2153)
-0.00067 -0.00783 0.000105 -0.0051* -2.92E-6* 1.583E-6
(0.4355) (0.1598) (0.9728) (0.0239) (0.0129) (0.1904)
-0.00008 0.006266* -0.00042 0.000500 7.275E-7 -1.47E-6*
(0.8373) (0.0193) (0.7760) (0.6389) (0.188) (0.0116)
4.219E-6 0.001783 -0.00308* -0.00143 5.21E-7 -1.54E-7
(0.9906) (0.4420) (0.0186) (0.1279) (0.2821) (0.7598)
0.000270 0.000229 -0.00472 5.51E-6 3.156E-6* -1.7E-6
Animal Protein
(0.7125) (0.9615) (0.0771) (0.9977) (0.0019) (0.1018)
-0.00038 0.000635 0.000643 0.000819 9.511E-7 -1.78E-7
(0.3698 (0.8178) (0.6753) (0.4614) (0.1001) (0.7663)
Source: Results from Data Analyses.
Figure in brackets are probability levels * Significant at 5%
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Elasticities of demand
Table 3 shows the estimates of elasticities of demand of HIV households for various food categories.
The diagonal matrix indicates the own price values while the off diagonal matrix shows the cross price
elasticity values. The income elasticity estimates is shown on the last row of the matrix. The own-price
elasticity estimates varies in sign but are all below unity thereby indicating that non of the food
categories is own-price elastic. While this could be expected of the common staples like root/tuber and
cereals and probably oil and vegetables used as a necessary ingredient in preparation or consumed
alongside with the common staples, the inelasticity to own price of food items like animal protein, fruit
and beverages deviates from common consumption pattern of poor households noted with low income
countries like Nigeria where such items are viewed as luxuries. However, this could be a reflection of
the recognition of the importance of the food items in providing the required nutrient for a healthy
disease management among the HIV households.
Nevertheless, the positive sign carried by the own price elasticity estimates for cereals (0.001)
and vegetables (0.121) indicates that the demand for both categories of food by HIV households tends
to increase (but less than proportionate change) with increase in price and this could be attributed to the
higher premium given to cereals as energy food while vegetables are at most instances consumed with
the common staples and could also help in providing the much needed vitamins as substitute for fruits
and beverages. Expectedly however, the demand for foods in the other categories tends to decrease
with increase in price. Generally, cereals, oil, vegetables and root/tuber with own price elasticity
estimates of 0.001, -0.002, 0.121 and -0.185 respectively could be said to be highly inelastic to own
price. While cereals and root/tuber are common staples, oil and vegetables are necessary ingredients
used regularly in the preparation of broth consumed alongside with the common staples. The income
elasticities estimates of these categories of food also points to their non responsiveness to income
change thereby showing them as necessities in the average daily food consumption of the HIV
families. However, animal protein, fruit and beverages were found to be income elastic with elasticity
estimates of 1.069, 1.027 and 1.694 respectively which implies that household consumption of the food
categories tends to increase as household income increases and are thus seen as luxuries in the HIV
household consumption pattern with beverages being the most luxury. These set of foods are however
among those required in increased quantity for efficient management of HIV disease among the
households and when they are seen as luxuries (although expected among poor households), there is
tendency for this to undermine the potential for healthy leaving among the HIV households.
Meanwhile, cereals, legume, root/tuber, vegetable and oil are necessities in the average daily food
intake of HIV families.
The cross price elasticity estimates among the food categories are however less than unity
across all pairings thereby implying limited possibilities of substituting one category of food item for
another in the consumption pattern of HIV households. In addition, the negative cross elasticities
estimate between the common staples (cereals and root/tubers); and legume, vegetable, oil and
beverages attests to marginal complementary consumption more so when the items (except beverages)
are usually prepared and consumed alongside the common staples.
The HIV household consumption pattern also reflect marginal possibilities of substituting the
common staples (cereals and root/tubers) for animal protein or fruit and this could help perhaps
marginally to satisfy the required additional nutritional intake required because of their HIV status.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 3: Estimates of Price Elasticities of Food Demand by HIV Households

Root Animal
Cereals Legume Veget Oil Fruit Beverage
_Tuber Protein
Cereals 0.001 -0.109 -0.296 -0.136 -0.202 0.007 0.0599 -0.073
Legume -0.141 -0.259 -0.114 -0.208 -0.069 0.157 -0.076 -0.104
Root/Tuber -0.301 -0.089 -0.186 -0.105 -0.013 0.008 0.0563 -0.136
Vegetable -0.228 -0.272 -0.177 0.122 0.0429 -0.125 -0.136 -0.107
Oil -0.444 -0.129 -0.043 0.061 -0.002 -0.222 0.106 -0.192
Animal Protein -0.044 0.101 -0.040 -0.105 -0.124 -0.540 -0.1723 -0.145
Fruit 0.133 -0.216 0.124 -0.280 0.136 -0.486 -0.384 -0.053
Beverage -0.222 -0.202 -0.280 -0.155 -0.152 -0.235 -0.054 -0.393
Income 0.749 0.815 0.766 0.879 0.865 1.069 1.027 1.694
Source: Results from Data Analyses

This study has attempted to study the expenditure profile and consumption pattern of various food
categories among HIV households with respect to the influence of socio-economic characteristics of
the households. The study showed that the influence of the socioeconomic characteristics on the
consumption pattern of HIV households varies across food categories. The consumption of cereals and
root/tubers is enhanced by age while the consumption of vegetables is enhanced by household size.
Also, increase in household income enhances household consumption of animal protein at the expense
of legumes.
The estimates of elasticities however indicated that the entire food items are inelastic to their
own price while the cross elasticities reflected the marginal possibilities of the households substituting
one food category for the other. However, the income elasticities estimate showed animal protein, fruit
and beverages as luxuries. Hence, the need to encouraging improved consumption of these food items
among HIV households as a way of making them gain the required additional nutrients offered by the
items requires policies capable of improving households’ income.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Dey, M. M. (2000). Analysis of Demand for Fish in Bangladesh Int’l Centre for Living Aquatic
Resources Management (ICLARM).
[2] DUHAIME G.; CHABOT M.; GAUDREAULT M. (2002) Food consumption pattern and
socioeconomic factors among the Inuit of Nunavik. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 41(2):91-
[3] FAO (1996) Special Africa Report. PR/96/18. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nation, Rome.
[4] Giskes K; Turnell G, Van Lenthe F. J, Brug J and Mackenbach J. P. (2006) A multilevel study
of socio-economic inequalities in food choice behaviour and dietary intake among the Dutch
population: the GLOBE study. Public Health Nutrition 9: 75-83 Cambridge University Press
[5] Loevinsohn, M. and S. Gillespie. 2003. HIV/AIDS, Rural Livelihoods and Food Security.
Understanding and Responding. RENEWAL. Working Paper No. 2. www.isnar.org/renewal.
[6] Mbaya, S. 2002. HIV/AIDS and Its Impact on Land Issues in Malawi. Paper Presented at the
FAO/SARPN Workshop on HIV/AIDS in Laud. Pretoria.
[7] Njoku J. E. and Nweke F. I. (1994) Household food consumption in a developing economy:
Evidence on rice from Nigeria. Journal of International Food and Agribusiness Marketing.
[8] Olarinde L. O. and Kuponiyi F. A. (2005) Rural livelihood and food consumption pattern
among households in Oyo State, Nigeria: Implications for food security and poverty eradication
in a deregulated economy. J. Soc. Sci., 11(2):127-132.
[9] Shah, M. K.; N. Osborne, T. Mbilizi and G. Valili. 2002. “Impact of HIV/AIDS on Agricultural
Productivity and Rural Livelihood in the Central Regions of Malawi”, Malawi: Care
[10] Hilhorst Thea, M. Van Liere and K. de Koning 2004. Impact of AIDS on Rural Livelihoods in
Benue State, Nigeria. Implications for Policy Makers.
[11] UNAIDS 2003. Accelerating Action against AIDS in Africa. UNAIDS Best Practice
[12] UNAIDS 2004. 4th National Conference on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. The National Response. May
2 – 5, 2004. Research Achievements and Future Challenges. UN Technical Report.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Rural Poverty and Farming Households’ Livelihood Strategies

in the Drier Savanna Zone of Nigeria

A.O. Adejobi
Department of Agricultural Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

V.O. Okoruwa
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
E-mail: vokoruwa@gmail.com

J.K. Olayemi
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

T. Alimi
Department of Agricultural Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

P.M. Kormawa
West African Rice Development Agency (WARDA) Cotonou Benin Republic

Poverty has been found to be higher in the rural communities of the developing nations and
its reduction is the most difficult challenge facing any country in the developing world,
particularly Nigeria with a dysfunctional economic policies and poor infrastructures.
Resultant upon this increasing poverty among rural farming households are livelihood
diversifications, more often than not from farming to other non-farming activities. Data
from 400 households randomly selected from 100 villages spread across 10 Local
Government Areas across the four Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) Zones in
Kebbi state, Nigeria were used to determine the different livelihood strategies adopted by
rural farming households across poverty line developed for the study area. The study
revealed that rural infrastructures were inadequate and poorly distributed with high level of
poverty. Furthermore, the main livelihood strategy of rural farming households in the study
area remains agricultural production (mainly crops), though at varying degrees across
poverty levels, with evidences of diversification into other non-farm activities.

Keywords: Poverty, livelihood, rural households, drier savanna, Nigeria

Poverty reduction is the most difficult challenge facing any country in the developing world. This
concern evolves from the failure of various initiatives by governmental and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) to reduce poverty. Evidences in Nigeria reveal that the number of those in
Poverty has been on the increase in last two decades. Several studies (Aigbokhan, 1988; FOS, 1992;
Carnagarajah, et. al. 1996; FOS, 1998, FOS, 1999; Ogwumike, 2000) revealed that poverty profile for
Nigeria is high and remained predominantly with the rural farming households.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

From Table 1, poverty has been largely a rural phenomenon. For instance, 28 percent of rural
people compared to 17 percent of urban people lied below poverty line. By 1985, poverty became
pervasive in both rural and urban areas with poverty incidences rising to 51 percent and 38 percent
respectively in both rural and urban areas of the country. While higher urban poverty incidence has
been traced to high rural-urban migration that accompanied the impetus to development generated by
oil revenues (Ogwumike, 2000), increased poverty in the rural areas is traceable to resource
degradation, which is described as an acute problem in the rural areas (OECD, 2001).

Table 1: Nigerian Poverty Profile 1980/1996

1980 1985 1992 1996

National 27 46 42 67
Urban 17 38 37 59
Rural 28 51 46 71
Northeast 36 55 54 67
Northwest 38 52 37 68
North central 32 51 46 66
Southeast 12 30 41 68
Southwest 13 39 43 67
South-south 13 46 41 67
Professional/Technical 17 36 35 28
Administration 45 25 22 6
Clerical 10 29 34 35
Sales worker 15 36 33 30
Services 21 38 38 34
Agriculture 31 53 48 73
Production/Transportation 23 46 41 47
Farming 31 53 48 73
Non-farming 16 37 36 58
Source: Adapted from Ogwumike, 2000.

However, in response to increasing poverty, rural households in Africa have been found to
diversify from agriculture, which had hitherto been their main source of livelihood. Studies have
shown that between 30 percent and 50 percent of rural household income in sub-Sahara Africa is
typically derived from non-farm sources (Shann, 1994; Readon and Vosti, 1995).
Several studies have examined the livelihood of the rural communities in sub-Sahara Africa
(SSA). Prominent among these works is the one by De-Agrarianization and Rural Employment
(DARE) in 1999, where it was revealed that the rural settlements in sub-Sahara Africa have witnessed
a high level of ‘de-agrarianization’ and ‘depeasantization’. De-agrarianization is defined as a long-term
process of occupational adjustment, income-earning reorientation, social identification, and spatial
relocation of rural dwellers away from strictly agricultural based modes of livelihood. Whereas, this
‘depeasantization’ represents a specific form of de-agrarianization in which peasantries lose their
economic capacity and social coherence, and shrink in size (Bryceson, 1993). From the study, it was
asserted that less than half of the world’s population resides in the rural areas, and most are peasants
(DARE, 1999).
A peasant livelihood involves changing agrarian labour process that is responsive to internal
variations like climate, local resource variation, and demography, as well as external stimuli such as
markets taxation, and other forms of State interventions (Bryceson, 1993). It is therefore clear why the
State interventions more often than not impact negatively on the livelihood of the people. For instance,
the imposition of Structural Adjustments Programme (SAP) on most countries in Africa in the mid-
1980s to the mid-1990s amounted to a drastic undermining of most peasants’ capitalized production
through the removal of subsidies on improved inputs like fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides. Each of
these countries experienced SAP to a varying degrees. However, the broad masses and poorer peasants
involved in commodity production found the removal of subsidies and fluctuating, often declining
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

producer prices and inconsistent State policies threatening to the viability of their market-oriented
production (DARE, 1999).
In Nigeria, SAP led to a significant increase in the production of peasant commodities, which
were adversely affected by agricultural subsidy cutbacks. Farmers were faced with a more uncertain
market environment, producer prices were subjected to wide variations, input prices skyrocketed and
supply became tenuous as most traders did not have the rural outreach of the institutions saddled with
extension responsibilities (Madulu, 1988; Meagher, 1999). Even at that, in some areas, small-scale
farmers attempted to carry on with production with or without much reduced inputs, but their yields
became disappointingly low. Some reverted to traditional varieties of staple food crops rather than the
high yielding improved varieties requiring expensive inputs; in fact an estimated 71% decline in annual
mean household income from agriculture was reported (Mung’ong’o, 1998; Yunusa, 1999).
The above led to drastic shortages and uncertainty in the returns from peasants’ commercial
agriculture, and daily needs for cash has kept on increasing because of government’ removal of
subsidies on educational and health services. The school fees and fees at the health centers take a lion
share of the peasant households’ budgets. There is therefore a rising need for cash, which the peasant
commercial agriculture could not sustain. In Nigeria, food prices rose astronomically causing hardship
for food-deficit rural households. In Northern Nigeria, many poorer peasants were cutting down on
consumption of basic food items and were disposing off their productive assets, notably land, as a way
of keeping up with their necessary expenditures (Yunusa, 1999).
The previous led to income diversification among the rural households in Africa. Literature has
reported a surge in non-agricultural income sources over the past fifteen years of SAP implementation
(Maludu, 1998; Yunusa, 1999). Non-agricultural activities are defined as any work that does not
directly involve plant or animal husbandry. Income diversification in Africa encompasses agricultural
diversification and its non-agricultural components. Some of the areas of diversification were found to
include: agricultural waged labour on farms not belonging to the individual producer or his/her
household, in other words ‘off-farm work (Jambiya, 1998; Yunusa, 1999). Others include trading of all
sorts, remittances, proliferation of income earners among household members, which more often than
not had led to child labour among most African rural settings (DARE, 1999). Studies have shown that
between 30% and 50% of rural households’ income is typically derived form non-farm sources (Sahn,
1994). While income diversification has been viewed as a way of livelihood diversification, another
means of diversification is migration. Migration is one of the most important methods of diversifying
rural livelihoods, and it takes different forms (Stark, 1991). It means one or more family members
leave the resident household for varying periods of time, and in so doing are able to make new and
different contributions to the household well-being; though such contributions are not guaranteed by
mere migrating (Ellis, 1998).
Furthermore, diversification has been found to be beneficial and detrimental to livelihood. The
positive effects have been found to include consumption smoothening, risk reduction, more complete
use of available household labour and skills, cash generation for investment in human or physical
capital, more opportunity for women to exercise independent economic decisions – making and, in
some cases, improvement in natural environments or reduced pressure on environmental resources
(Ellis, 1998).
The negative effects of diversification however, are often the converse of the beneficial effects,
and reflect the different circumstances that arise historically in different locations. The negative effects
are usually on income distribution by causing disparities between the rich and the poor in rural areas.
Agricultural productivity, diversion of resources into unproductive networking and adverse gender
effects are other negative effects (Berry, 1989; Dercon and Krishnan, 1996). rom the foregoing, this
study aims at understanding household livelihood strategies in the context of poverty levels and their
various environments.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Material and Methods

Study area and data
The study was carried out in Kebbi State in the North-western Nigeria, which falls in the dry savanna
region comprising of Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna and Jigawa States. The area falls into the
dry savanna ecological zone of Nigeria with an average annual rainfall of between 650mm and
1100mm. The vegetation largely comprises of drought resistant grasses, legumes and shrubs. There are
two distinct seasons: the rainy and the dry season; with the dry season longer than the rainy season.
Dry season is usually accompanied by very dry air known as the harmmerttan.
The commonly practiced religion is Islam, although a few Christians are still in the state.
Largely dominated by families which are polygamous in nature, and they reside in huts. Commonly
cultivated crops in the State include maize, sorghum, millet, and rice. Others include pepper, tomatoes,
cowpea, and so on. The area is famous for traditional arts and crafts, beads, swords and glassware, and
it is the site of the Argungu fishing festival, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nigeria.
The sampling technique adopted in the study was multi-stage sampling technique. All the four
Agricultural Development Project zones in the state were covered in the survey. The first stage was the
random selection of 10 Local Government Areas (LGAs) from all the four ADP zones. The number of
LGAs selected from each of the zones was proportional to the number of LGAs in the zone. The
proportionality factor used is stated as follows:- S= n/N*10. Where, S= the number of LGA sampled
from a zone; n= the number of Local Government Areas in a zone; N= the number of Local
Government Areas in all the zones in the state and 10= the desired number of LGA for the survey. In
each LGA, a comprehensive list of the names of villages compiled by the Kebbi State Agricultural and
Rural Development Agency (KARDA) was obtained. The second stage involved the random selection
of 10 villages from each of the 10 selected LGAs to make a total of 100 villages sampled in the study
area. However, villages or settlements that were non-rural in nature were excluded from the survey
using the population criteria which stipulates that any settlement with a population less than twenty
thousand (20,000) should be classified as rural (see Adejobi, 2004). In the third stage, 400 households
were randomly selected from the 100 villages earlier selected. A proportionality factor was also
introduced to determine the number of respondents coming from each of the LGAs selected. The
proportionality factor used is stated thus:- S=p/P*400. Where, S= sample size from a LGA; p= the
population of a LGA selected1; P= the total population of all the selected LGAs, and 400 = the desired
number of respondents for the study area.

Empirical models
The main analytical tools in this study are the Freer, Greer and Thorbecke (FGT) poverty measures and
the descriptive statistics. Literature is replete on several methods of determining poverty lines (Sen,
1981; FOS, 1999; Omonona, 2001). However, the cost-of-calories (COC) method proposed by Greer
and Thorbecke (1984) is used in this study for ease of computation. Besides, it gives a value that is
usually close to the minimum requirements for human survival unlike the alternative methods
(particularly the two-third mean per capita expenditure). The COC function estimated is of the form
LnX=a+bC (1)
Where X is the adult equivalent food expenditure (in Naira) and C is the calorie consumption
per adult equivalent of a household (in kilocal). The calorie contents of the recommended (FAO, 1982;
Food Basket, 1995)2 daily nutrients level (L) were used to determine the poverty line Z using the
Z = e(a+bL) (2)
Z= the cost of buying the minimum calorie intake (poverty line).
The population of the LGAs was obtained from the National Population Commission office in Kebbi State.
The recommended energy requirement is 2250 kcal per adult equivalent per day
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

a and b= parameter estimates from equation 1.

L= recommended daily nutrients level.
Based on the Z, several poverty measures were calculated. The weighted shortfall index P (or
poverty index) is given by:
1 m ⎛∈ j G j ⎞
P= ∑⎜
N j =1 ⎝ Z ⎟⎠

G= Z-Xj is the food expenditure elasticity
∈ j = the Engel elasticity of energy demand faced by individual j
N= the total population
m= the number of the poor
The weighted shortfall index measures at the aggregate level, for a given elasticity of demand
for food, the extent to which poor households are below the poverty line. Therefore, any household
above the poverty line will have P value of zero; the extent to which P value deviates from zero is a
reflection of the poverty situation in the study area. The weighted shortfall index or poverty index P
satisfies the monotonicity and transfers axioms for an aggregate poverty measure, whereas, the
aggregate income gap (G) and the head count ratio (H), which have been used in many studies pass
only the monotonicity condition (Sen, 1981; Hassan and Babu, 1991). H and G are obtained as follows:
H= (4)
G = ∑ j =1 G j
Having established the poverty profile of the households, their livelihood strategies were also
described with the use of descriptive statistics, such as the mean and percentages.

Results and Discussion

Village Level Characteristics
i. Distribution of Social Infrastructure in Sampled Villages
There is no doubt that the presence of social infrastructure is very important in enhancing the
livelihood strategies of the rural dwellers. Some of the infrastructural facilities considered in this study
include primary and secondary schools, hospitals, public toilets, electricity, and potable water. These
facilities are considered to significantly affect the livelihood of the rural community in the areas of
education, health/hygiene and economy.

Table 2: Percentage Distributions of Infrastructures in Sampled Villages

Percentage of villages with infrastructure

Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 All zones
Primary School 67.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 90.00
Secondary School 0.00 0.00 25.00 100.00 25.00
Hospitals 0.00 83.00 100.00 100.00 35.00
Public Toilets 0.00 0.00 0.00 95.00 19.00
Electricity 0.00 0.00 60.00 100.00 32.00
Tap Water 0.00 0.00 75.00 100.00 35.00
Water Wells 73.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 92.00
Source: Field survey 2001
Zone 1= Argungu, Zone 2= Bunza, Zone 3= Zuru, Zone 4= Yauri

Table 2 reveals that most villages in the study area had a primary school. On the other hand,
there were no secondary schools in most villages and the children in these villages traveled an average
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

of 15 kilometers and spent an average of N 60.0033 daily to get to school and back. This implies that
secondary education is not easily accessible in the study area. This would subsequently have negative
effects on the education vis-à-vis livelihood of the rural households in the study area.
From the same Table, it is observed that most of the villages sampled had no hospitals or other
primary health care delivery centers. The residents of these villages where there were no hospitals
traveled an average distance of 10 kilometers and spent an average of N 30.00 to get medical attention.
This shows that access to health care institutions was still relatively poor in the study area and this
subsequently adversely impinged on the health care delivery system in the area. Result from the same
Table 2 further revealed that most villages in the study area had no access to public toilets. Therefore,
it could be inferred intuitively that there was a low level of hygiene existing in the villages.
Few (32.00%) of the villages had electricity. This means that despite the existence of different
boards and parastatals responsible for rural electrification, most of the rural areas were still without
electricity. The implication of this is that small cottage industries, which could help the economy of the
rural dwellers, could not thrive in this area since most of them require electricity to operate and moreso
as electricity was the cheapest source of power for these cottage industries. Similarly, the livelihood
status of the people might be impaired by lack of electricity in the sense that they might not have
access to certain types of information, which could only be accessed through electronic means.
Considering the essential nature of water for human survival, the availability of potable water is
critical to the livelihood of people in any environment. However, from the results shown in Table 2, it
could be observed that most of the villages in the study area had no tap water, which could be
considered to be the most reliable source of potable water. This situation often forced the villagers to
depend on less reliable sources of water such as streams and shallow wells with the attendant high risk
of contacting water-borne diseases. In all, a majority (92.00%) of the villages had shallow wells, which
was their only source of water supply.
In sum, the worst hit out of the four ADP zones in terms of poor distribution of rural
infrastructure are Argungu and Bunza zones, while Yauri zone was better off in the study area.

ii. Distribution of Agricultural Input and Service Providers in Sampled Villages

The presence of agricultural input dealers and service points in a locality is vital to agricultural
production. It is even more important in an agrarian society like the study area, where the livelihood of
people depends so much on agricultural production and services. In this study, an average village in the
study area had no financial institutions in spite of efforts by the government to establish financial
institutions (Table 3). On the average, a villager had to travel 23 kilometers to the nearest financial
institution. The consequence of this was that most villagers still relied on the local and financial
institutions such as cooperatives and moneylenders with their high interest rates, to raise capital for
their businesses. This was believed to have limiting effects on their productive capacities and
livelihood strategies.
The presence of fertilizer agents in a locality should enhance farmers’ opportunity to procure
fertilizers much more easily and, hence, their opportunity for improve the farm productivity. But in the
study area, most of the villages had no fertilizer dealer (see Table 3). The farmers in the villages
without fertilizer dealers had to travel an average distance of 15 kilometers and at an average cost of N
47.00 to reach the nearest fertilizer dealer.

As at the time of survey, a U.S. dollar exchanges for about N 120.00
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 3: Percentage Distribution of Agricultural Input and Service Providers in Sampled Villages

Percentage of villages with input dealer/service provider

Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 All zones
Credit Institution 0.00 0.00 0.00 85.00 17.00
Fertilizer Dealer 5.00 15.00 45.00 80.00 29.00
Pesticide Dealer 5.00 25.00 10.00 65.00 21.00
Improved Seed Dealer 5.00 26.00 10.00 64.00 20.00
Extension Agents 19.00 57.00 100.00 81.00 57.00
Veterinary Clinic 10.00 20.00 45.00 70.00 29.00
Source: Field survey 2001
Zone 1= Argungu, Zone 2= Bunza, Zone 3= Zuru, Zone 4= Yauri

As previously stated, the availability of markets for pesticides in a farming environment is

highly essential. But the survey results, however, revealed that only 21 percent, of the villages had
pesticide dealers. The farmers in villages without pesticide dealers traveled an average distance of 15
kilometers and spent at least N 39.00 (one way) to procure pesticides. The survey results presented in
Table 3 reveal that most households in the study area did not have easy access to improved seeds
dealers. The farmers in these villages traveled an average distance of between 16 kilometers and spent
at least N 39.00 (one way) to get improved seeds. This could also have negative impacts on farmers’
productivity and livelihood.
Extension agents are the vital link between research centers and the farmers. However, only 43
percent of the villages had easy access to extension agents (see Table 3). The implication is that they
might not have had an easy access to current information on improved crop varieties and new
technologies of production.
On the whole, Argungu and Bunza zones were the zones with the poorest distribution of rural
infrastructures and agricultural input and service providers in the study area.

Socio-economic and Demographic Characteristics of Sampled Rural Farming Household Heads

Table 4 revealed that the average sampled head of household was a male, about 50 years of age, not
literate, a Moslem, usually married and he was polygamous (having more than 2 wives). He was
basically into farming (though his highest income may not be from farming) and had fairly large
household of between 7 and 10 adult male equivalents. An average household head cultivated about 3
hectares of land in 2 or more different fields, suggesting that land fragmentation exists in the study
area. Finally, an average household head could not be said to be a member of cooperative societies and
he is not into large-scale livestock production.

Table 4: Summary Description of Demographic and Socio-economic Characteristics of Rural Farming

Household Heads

Characteristics Dominant Indicator Mean Value

Age 55% between 41 and 60 years 50 years
Gender 95% males -
Education 70% had no formal education 3.7 years
Household size 70% between 7-10 8.27 adult equivalent
Farm size 80% above 3 Hectares 5.5
Number of farm field operated 75% above 2 fields 3.2
Major occupation 95% into farming -
Religious grouping 98% Islam -
Marital status 90% married and polygamous 2.4 wives
Value remittances received 27% above N 100,000 N 125,393
Membership of farmer association/cooperative societies 33% are members -
Ownership of livestock 10% on large scale basis -
Source: Field survey, 2001

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Rural Farming Household Livelihood Strategies and Food Poverty

i. Classification of Households by Poverty Levels
From equation 1 and 2, a food poverty line in Table 5 was obtained and households below this line
were classified as being poor, while those with higher mean monthly per adult equivalent expenditure
were classified as being non-poor. It is on this basis that the livelihood strategies of the households
sampled were described. Table 5 shows the summary statistics of poverty measures among the
households. Based on the recommended daily energy levels (L) of 2250 Kcal, the poverty line (Z) for
the rural households in Nigeria is found to be N 42.24 per day per adult equivalent (N 1267.29 per
month per adult equivalent). On an annual basis, this is equivalent to N 15207.48 per adult equivalent.
The poverty line is higher than that of 1996/97, which was put at N 11292.96 per annum (FOS, 1998).
This is largely due to a very high inflationary trend, which the Nigerian economy is currently
experiencing. The Naira has been devalued by approximately 54% since 19964. This poverty line is,
however, lower than that of FOS (1999), which puts the percentage of the poor in the north-western
zone of the country at 68 percent. It is also lower than the international poverty line put at one U.S.
dollar ($1)5 per day. The reason for the differences in these poverty lines and estimates is as a result of
the methodology adopted in the different studies. This study adopted absolute (food) poverty line,
while the others adopted the relative poverty line.

Table 5: Summary statistics of poverty measures among urban households in Nigeria

Variable Value
Constant= 4.154 (0.534)a
Cost-of-calories equation
Slope coefficient=0.0019 (0.0004)a
FAO recommended daily energy levels (L) 2250 Kcal
N 42.24 per day
Poverty line Z: cost of the minimum energy requirements per adult equivalent
N 1267.29 per month
N 15207.48 per year
Head count (H) 0.58
Aggregate income gap (G) -375.74
Weighted shortfall index (P) 0.029
Source: Calculations from OLS estimates of cost-of-calories equation

From the above poverty line, it was shown that 58% of the households sampled are poor by
headcount (H). Furthermore, the aggregate income gap (G) of –375.74 indicates the amount by which
the poor households are away from meeting their monthly basic food requirements.

ii. Rural Farming Household Livelihood Strategies

In this study, different components and strategies of rural farming household livelihood strategies were
identified. As is practice in many rural economies nowadays, the rural farming households in the study
area had highly diversified income-generating activities. Eight major types of these income generating
activities or livelihood strategies were identified. These are described as follows.
• Agriculture (crop production with small-scale livestock). This involved the production of
many kinds of crops, mostly cereal, mainly cereals for home consumption. Some livestock,
mostly chicken and small ruminants, were also kept in the farmyard.
• Agriculture (large-scale livestock production). This involved livestock production on a
large-scale basis, usually large herds of Cattle. The herdsmen were itinerant in nature and
usually cultivated small farms to produce crops for own consumption and to complement
income from livestock.

The Naira was exchanged for US dollar at an average of N 65/$ in 1996, but it is now N 120$ as at December 2001
when the survey was concluded.
One US Dollar exchanges for an average of N 135
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

• Small and micro enterprises: These included activities such as food processing, hawking,
fishing, handicraft, petty commodity production, making of mats, dyeing of cloths,
carpentry and agricultural products marketing. Women and children within the households
were usually engaged in these small and micro enterprises.
• Wage labour: Those engaged in wage labour included farm workers, migrant labourers and
casual labourers. These jobs usually attracted low pay and little job security.
• Claims against the state: Although a well functioning social welfare system did not exist in
the study area, there were pockets of households whose heads relied on financial claims
from the state, most especially in the forms of pensions and gratuities.
• Claims against household members and kinsmen: Migration of kinsmen for employment
and remittances from such kinsmen constituted an important source of income to rural
households. As such, effective claim to these remittances from migrant workers and
kinsmen was identified in the study area as an important livelihood strategy. The
remittances from the migrants and kinsmen were usually in the forms of money, food,
clothing and other household needs.
• Unpaid domestic labour: This involved women who received no payment of any sort but
contributed significantly in kind to the household livelihood strategy.
• Illegitimate activities: Due to the economic pressure on households to survive, many
members of the households in the study area undertook activities which were regarded as
illegal, either in the narrow legal sense or in terms of the moral norms of the society. The
activities identified under this category included street begging (almajiri), fuel hawking,
and petty crimes.
The relative importance of the different types of entitlements and income generating activities
for all households as well as the categorization of household livelihood strategies by poverty status in
the study area is reported in Table 6. The Table shows that for all rural farming households, the four
most important and frequently employed livelihood strategies in the study area were agricultural
production, particularly food crops production (adopted by 98.00% of all households), making claims
against migrant household members and kinsmen (85.00%), household involvement in small and micro
enterprises (70.00%), and illegitimate activities (45.00%).

Table 6: Livelihood Strategies of Rural Farming Households

Households engaged in activity (%)

All households Poor Non-poor
Agricultural production (crops) 98.00 100.00 96.00
Agricultural production (livestock) 5.00 4.00 10.00
Small and micro enterprise 70.00 65.00 82.00
Wage labour 35.00 47.00 25.00
Claims against the state 7.50 3.00 12.00
Claims against household members and kinsmen 85.00 72.00 91.00
Unpaid domestic labour 40.00 57.00 33.00
Illegitimate activities 45.00 53.00 29.00
Source: Field survey, 2001

All the poor farming households are into crop production, and the two most frequently
employed livelihood strategies after crop production are making claims against migrant household
members and kinsmen (72.00% of the poor households), household involvement in small and micro
enterprises (65.00% of the poor households).
For the non-poor farming households however, three types of livelihood strategies are
prominent. These include agriculture -crop production- (96.00% of the non-poor households), making
claims against migrant household members and kinsmen (91.00% of the non-poor households),
household involvement in small and micro enterprises (82.00% of the non-poor households). It could
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

also be observed from the same table that more of the poor households engaged in unpaid domestic
labour (57.00%), illegitimate activities (53.00%) and wage labour (47.00%) than the non-poor

This study had as its focus the examination of the rural household poverty and livelihood strategies, as
well as distribution of infrastructures in rural areas of Kebbi State, Nigeria. The study showed that rural
infrastructures which enhance livelihoods were grossly inadequate, the poverty level was high, with 58
percent being poor and the main livelihood strategies adopted by the households (both poor and noon-
poor) are similar; i.e. most rural households are still largely in agriculture, though with extensive foray
into other non-farm activities.
From the foregoing, the study concluded that enhancing household livelihood and welfare with
a special focus on the reduction of poverty and food insecurity in the study area calls for an integrated
approach, which focuses largely on the development of rural infrastructures as well as other income
generating activities, particularly cottage non-farm enterprises of these rural people.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Adejobi, A.O. (2004): Rural Poverty, Food Production and Demand in Kebbi State, Niigeria.
Unpublished Ph.D Thesis; Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Ibadan.
[2] Aigbokhan, B.E. (1988) Size Distribution of Income in Nigeria: a Decomposition Analysis.
Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives. Vol. 5 No. 4.
[3] Berry, S. (1989). ‘Social Institutions and Access to Resources’ Africa vol. 59, No. 1. Pp 41-55.
[4] Briceson, D.F. (1993). De-agrarianization and Rural Employment Generation in Sub-Saharan
Africa: Process and Prospects, African Studies Centre Working Paper, vo,l. 19.
[5] Canagarajah, S. Ngwafon, J and Thomas, S. (1996). The Evolution of Poverty and Welfare in
Nigeria (1985-92). Population and Human Resources Division, West Central Africa
[6] DARE (1999). Sub-Saharan Africa Betwixt and Between: Rural Livelihood Practices and
Policies. Bryceson, D.F. (ed.). ASC Working Paper 43/1999.
[7] Dercon, S. and Krishnan, P. (1996). ‘Income Portfolios in Rural Ethiopia and Tanzania:
Choices and Constraints.’ Journal of Development Studies, vol. 32, No. 6. Pp 850-875.
[8] Ellis, F. (1998). Livelihood Diversification and Sustainable Livelihoods, in Carney, D. (ed.),
Sustainable Rural Livelihoods: What Contribution Can we Make? Papers Presented for
International Development’s Natural Resources Advisers’ Conference, July 1998, Department
for International Development 1998.
[9] F.O.S. (1992). Poverty and Welfare in Nigeria. Designed, Printed and Edited by American
Writing Corporation, Washington D.C.
[10] F.O.S. (1998). Poverty profile for Nigeria, An analysis of 1996/97 nationwide consumer
[11] F.O.S. (1999). F.O.S. Annual abstract of statistics.
[12] Food and Agricultural Organization (1982). Food Consumption Tables for the Near East, Food
and Nutrition Paper 20, FAO, Rome.
[13] Food Basket Foundation International (1995). Nutrient Composition of Commonly Eaten foods
in Nigeria-Raw, Processed, and Prepared. 131pp.
[14] Greer, J. and E. Thorbecke (1984) Patterns of Food Consumption and Poverty in Kenya and
Effects of Food Prices; International Labour Organization, Geneva, 1984.
[15] Hassan, R.M. and Babu, S.C. (1991). Measurement and Determinants of Rural Poverty:
Household Consumption Patterns and Food Poverty in Rural Sudan. Food policy. Vol. 16, No.
6, December 1991.
[16] Jambiya, G. (1998). The Dynamics of Population, Land Scarcity, Agriculture and Non-
agricultural Activities: West Usambara Mountains, Lushoto District, Tanzania, Dar es Salam,
Institute of Resource Assessment and Leiden, African Studies Center Working Paper, vol. 28,
[17] Madulu, N.F. (1998). Changing Lifestyles in Farming Societies of Sukumaland: Kwimba
District, Tanzania, Dar es Salam, Institute of Resource Assessment and Leiden, African Studies
Center Working Paper, vol. 27, 40pp.
[18] Meagher, K. (1999). If the Drumming Changes, the Dance Also Changes: Deagrarianisation
and Rural Non-Farm Employment in the Nigerian Savannah, Kano, Center for Documentation
and Research, and Leiden, African Studies Center Working Paper, Vol. 40, 90pp.
[19] Mung’ong’o, C.G. (1998). Coming full Circle: Agriculture, Non-Farm Activities and the
Resurgence of Out-Migration in Njombe District, Tanzania, Dar es Salam, Institute of Resource
Assessment and Leiden, African Studies Center Working Paper, vol. 26, 37pp.
OECD (2001). Poverty-Environment-Gender Linkages. Pre-print of DAC Journal, 2001, vol. 2.
No. 4.
[20] Ogwumike, F.O. (2000). An Appraisal of Poverty Reduction Strategies in Nigeria. Central
Bank of Nigeria Economic and Financial Review, vol. 39. No. 4.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[21] Omonona, B.T. (2001). Poverty and Its Correlates Among Rural Farming Households In Kogi
State. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis; Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Ibadan.
[22] Reardon T. and S. A. Vosti (1995). Links between rural poverty and the environment in
Development Countries Asset categories and Investment Poverty. World Development Vol. 23
No. 9 1495 – 1506.
[23] Shann, D.E. (1994). The Impact of Macroeconomic Adjustments on Incomes, Health and
Nutrition: Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1980s, in Cornia, G.A. and Helleiner, G.K. (eds.) From
Adjustment to Development in Africa: Conflict, Controversy, Convergence, Consensus?
London: Macmillan.
[24] Stark, O. (1991). The Migration of Labour. Cambridge, Mass.: Basil Blackwell.
[25] Yunusa, M.B. (1999). Not Farms Alone: A Study of Rural Livelihoods in the Middle Belt of
Nigeria, Kano, Center for Documentation and Research and Leiden, African Studies Center
Working Paper, vol. 38, 44pp.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Career Plateau: Constructs, Consequences and

Coping Strategies

Maimunah Ismail
Department of Professional Development and Continuing Education
Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400, Serdang, Selangor, MALASIA
E-mail: mismail@educ.upm.edu.my

The objective of this article is to examine constructs of career plateau. It begins with the
meaning of career plateau, theorizing career plateau that includes types of plateauing and
typologies of employees from the perspective of performance and career progression as
well as chaos theory, measurements and consequences of career plateau. The article
highlights the potential use of structural career opportunities, intrinsic job rewards and
recognition as coping strategies to mitigate the effects of a plateau.

Career plateau is an important component of career development that adds to the dynamism of career
research. It is a concern of employees and organizations since the phenomenon brings implications to
not only the employees on how to adapt themselves in the organization but also to the organization in
terms of strategies to manage the employees. Everyone reaches a career plateau at any time of his or
her career, though the outcomes are more felt if the employees experience plateauing while they are
still at the lower or middle level of the job hierarchy.
This article aims to examine constructs of career plateau. The understanding on these constructs
is important to both employers and employees as both have their roles in managing career plateauing.
The article is structured as follows: First, the definition and types of career plateau will be presented
based on the pioneering work of Ference, Stoner and Warren (1977). Second, the underlying theories
that include typologies of employees based on the potential of career growth as well as chaos theory,
and measurements of career plateau. Third, the article explores the potential consequences and coping
strategies of career plateau that will be used by human resource personnel in managing the plateauees.

Meaning of Career Plateau

The original meaning of career plateau (CP) is largely derived from the behavioural concern of the
employees. Ference et al. (1977) defined CP as the point in a career where the likelihood of additional
hierarchical promotion is low. Lee (2003) defined CP as the stage whereby the individual finds the
work boring and provides no opportunities for knowledge and skills advancement. Kreuter (1993)
refers to CP as a temporary flat point on the advancement continuum during the career of an individual.
The use of promotion, advancement, or position to operationally define plateaued employees assumes a
direct relationship between levels in an organizational hierarchy and job responsibility. As such, CP is
an important concept for those employees who view vertical movements within organization(s) as
important milestones. This definition refers to an employee’s perspective of CP.
Another definition is by Feldmen and Weitz (1988) who emphasize the notion that plateaued
employees are those whose likelihood to receive increased responsibility is low. This later definition
denotes the concept of plateauing by focusing on the potential growth in the employee’s actual
contribution to the firm. This organizational perspective may differ from the employee’s perspective.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

However, this organizational perspective is significant because organization will ultimately determine
how the plateaued employees will be managed. This definition has several advantages over the
definitions dependent upon job positions, job titles or from the perspective of the employees. First, it
denies the link between hierarchical promotion and the employee’s contribution to the organization.
Second, it incorporates elements of both structural and content plateauing. Finally, the definition lends
itself to operationalization across wide settings of organization with a flatter job hierarchy such as in
profit-oriented organizations.

Theorizing CP
The description on theorizing CP includes types, typologies of employees, and a theory called ‘Chaos
Theory’ that becomes the basis of the phenomenon of CP. Literature outlines three types of CP and
each seemingly describes the sources of plateauing: structural, content, and personal (Ference et al.,
1977; Bardwick, 1986; Duffy, 2000). Structural plateau is complex and it occurs at the organizational
level due to limited hierarchical movement. People who are organizationally plateaued may have the
ability to perform well in higher-level job, but are unable to do so due to limited job openings.
Structural plateau is also called position immobility. According to Bardwick, traditionally only about
1% of employees reach the top-level job hierarchy, a position of the decision-making level. Other
sources of structural plateauing are competition and organizational needs (Ference et al., 1977).
Competition refers to a situation in which an individual is seen as less qualified than other candidates
due to ability and competency for a certain job. Organizational needs as sources of plateauing are
described as situations that make the individuals too valuable to relinquish their present position due to
difficulties to get replacement. Therefore, the individuals remain in the organization without
experiencing any job promotion.
Content plateau occurs when an employee has mastered all of the tasks of his or her job, or may
be caused by task stagnation. This form of plateau is more in the control of the employee rather than by
the functions of the organization. Content plateau may be one of the results of structural plateau, or
may also occur among individuals who do not perceive the present job as the primary source of income
or it may be the secondary occupation in the family. The content plateau is therefore not necessarily
connected with hierarchical position.
Finally, personal plateau is the most dangerous. It is characterized by a situation in which the
employee lacks any direction, motivation and enthusiasm in most of the activities related to work.
Personal plateau is probably due to intrinsic factors of an employee that has deep impact on the
person’s emotion, feeling, sense of control of what is appropriate and what is not about the job. The
consequence of personal plateau is definitely on work outcomes. Related to this end, Lee (2003)
introduced another construct, called professional plateau, defined as the point where employees find
their jobs unchallenging and that they provide few opportunities for professional development and
future employability.
Earlier analysis by Ference et al. (1977) describes the sources of personal plateau as follows: a)
Lack of technical and managerial skills – this includes absence of interpersonal competence or
technical proficiency skills needed for effective work at the higher level. Skill deficiencies could arise
from lack of exposure or ability to respond to changing job requirements; b) Lack of career skills – this
relates to the weakness of individuals to adequately understand the intricacy of organizational
structures and functions, failing to take proactive steps to move along a viable career path; c) Lack of
sufficient desire – refers to a situation in which individuals make known to the organization their desire
to not be further promoted. This is due to personal reasons such as the secondary nature of the job as
the person may have other sources of income such as from spouse or other business ventures.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Figure 1: Typologies of Employees based on Performance and Potential Promotion

Current Likelihood of Future Promotion

Performance Low High
Solid Citizen
(effective plateauees)
High Stars
Organizationally Personally
Plateaued Plateaued
Low Deadwood Learners
(ineffective plateauees) (comers)

In relation to performance and potential for career progression as perceived by employers,

Ference et al. (1977), Appelbaum and Finestone (1994), and Hughes (2004) further provided four
typologies of the employees, as depicted in Figure 1: First, learners or comers are individuals who
possess high prospects for future advancement but are currently performing below acceptable
standards. They are still learning and not yet immersed into the task of the organizations. For example
in the academia, they are tutors or new lecturers who have just returned after completion of PhD
studies. Ference et al. (1977) cited the difficulties of an employer to identify specific individuals
especially among the managerial level currently in the category. They offered three reasons for this that
would suggest the dynamism of career among the learners due to its variable duration. First, many
managers above entry-level positions learn new jobs and achieve high performance quickly. The
learning curve is said to be very steep at the early stage. Second, some managers are prepared for and
do well in a new job before being formally promoted into it. Finally, expectations of potential often
influence formal evaluation of individuals during the learning period. Such individuals are likely to be
rated as doing very well for some new job or are even too early to evaluate performance rating. Thus
the learner category may remain in it for only a short period of time or may be in the category without
public awareness by other employees.
Second, stars who are on the fast track career path, perform exceedingly well and self-
motivated, as well as who possess a high potential for advancement. They are easily identifiable in any
organization due to their superb performance and visibility. In today’s organizations, this group of high
potential staff is readily picked up by the management to hold important positions for future leadership.
Stars or top performers must come to a simple realization that success requires a commitment to
change. Otherwise they are likely to plateau miserably.
Third, solid citizens are those who perform very well the bulk of organizational tasks but have
little chance for future advancement due to very limited career path in the organization unless they opt
for another career path after equipping themselves with other professional qualifications. They form
the majority of an organization. Organizations need solid citizens to maintain stability, provide
continuity and to keep the organization competitive. Organizations should not treat solid citizen
passively or deny access to development and challenging tasks. Such action may de-motivate them to
become ineffective.
Finally, deadwoods are individuals who perform below the acceptable standards. These
employees have become problems, whether for reasons of motivation or personal difficulties. The
number is however very small in any organization but the problems created by the deadwoods may
jeopardize the overall service quality of the organization. Deadwoods are likely to be targets for
remedial actions or they risk to be dismissed.
The solid citizens and the deadwoods are plateaued employees. The solid citizens are effective
plateauees; the deadwoods are ineffective. The above categorization is also called the life-cycle theory
of plateauing and it is often associated with organizational succession planning. It is founded on two
career parameters, namely, the present performance and future potential for career mobility. There are
two major implications of this categorization to the management of an organization. First, it is a
challenge to the organization to prevent solid citizens from slipping into the deadwood category.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Second, different managerial approaches are needed to cope with the various types of plateaued
Chaos theory has been applied in career counseling organizational studies particularly among
the career-plateaued workers. Duffy (2000) applied chaos theory to conceptualize plateaued worker in
order to reframe dominant issues faced by counselors and clients. Chaos theory can be described as a
period of transition in which change occurs in unpredictable, irregular, and uncertain ways. The
essence of chaos is change in which it is not a stable condition or a fixed state. It is a dynamic process
that explains the changing relationship between entities in the organization. Similarly, Tetenbaum
(1998) discussed the relevance of the theory in terms of the effect it will have on the roles of managers
in complex and nonlinear systems.
Duffy (2000) further describes that chaos theory consists of five areas regarding the roles of
managers in dealing with plateaued employees. The areas are a) Trigger points where there is an urgent
sense that a change has occurred and something must happen if sufficient adaptation is to come about;
b) Order is found in chaos through the individual’s behavioral responses; c) Order can emerge from
chaos and a new level of functioning can be achieved; d) Chaotic transition, which is the period where
the individual experiences uncertainty and ambiguity; and e) Self-organizing process in which the
system proceeds from a state of equilibrium through chaotic disequilibrium to eventually a stage of a
new way of knowing. The strength of chaos theory is that it allows for unpredictability, tolerance of
ambiguity, and flexibility of response sets.

Measurements of CP
Knowledge on the types of measurement of CP is important in the process of identifying plateaued
employees. The purpose is to examine behavioural outcomes of plateauing, hence to formulate coping
strategies for the plateaued employees. Based on the meaning of CP, past researchers have developed
two approaches in measuring CP, which is based on the duality of career concept, external versus
internal career. They are called objective career plateau (OCP), which is derived from the external
career conceptualization, emphasizing vertical progression through positions carrying increasing
responsibility, status and rewards defined by the organization. While subjective career plateau (SCP)
measurements are derived from internal career conceptualization. OCP refers to measurement that uses
job tenure, job position, promotions, salary growth and compensation as criteria to demarcate plateaued
and non-plateaued individuals. OCP is basically derived from the notion that hierarchical mobility is
important, thus makes up the pyramidal structure of an organization. Examples of studies using
objective measurement of CP are those by Chay et al. (1995), and Mat Sani, Maimunah and Jegak
(2006). The latter measured OCP among the Malaysian administrative and diplomatic officers by job
tenure where six years and above were considered as plateaued employees if they were still holding the
same position without any vertical mobility.
However, Bardwick (1986) observed that only a limited number of employees could reach the
highest-level job position, i.e. the executives who make decisions in an organization. This fact implies
that vertical career progression may not be an ambition to be experienced by a vast majority of
employees. Critiques about OCP measurement are dissatisfactions due to the narrow definition of CP
that fails to capture the personal perception of career. The appropriateness of the definition is also
questionable due to the changing nature of many organizations resulting from downsizing,
restructuring and mergers that make the job hierarchy flatter. In addition, there is quite a number of
young and middle level employees who may not emphasize hierarchical promotions and they are more
concerned with family and work balance as well as still uncertain about their career focus. Since OCP
has its shortcoming, the alternative is SCP.
SCP refers to the career experience of the career aspirant. It is the internal dimension of career
emphasizing an employee’s interpretation on his or her career experience. These include job
involvement, career satisfaction, expectation for advancement, promotion opportunities, career

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

commitment, loyalty to organization, trust in management and intention to stay. Chao’s (1990) findings
asserted that SCP measurement accounted for significantly more variance in work-related attitudes and
behaviors than did job tenure or the OCP measurement. SCP provides a stronger explanatory power to
account for the negativity of work outcomes. Chao advocated the use of a continuum to measure CP
rather than dichotomizing employees into plateaued and non-plateaued categories based on the
objective measurement. The use of SCP in identifying career status of employees is supported by
Milliman (1992). He advanced these concepts and developed continuous subjective measures to assess
individual perceptions of both hierarchical and job content plateauing. The significance of this
approach of measuring CP is to acknowledge that employee’s perception of plateauing can range from
not at all plateaued to very plateaued. SCP is also significant as many work outcome constructs such as
job satisfaction, job involvement, organizational commitment, job stress, intention to leave
organization and career aspiration are able to be identified.
Lee’s (2002) analysis on the need of SCP and the consequences of CP is based on changes that
occurred in terms of attitudes of the employees. In the past, many employees expect that seniority
would help them advance in the organizational hierarchy. Nowadays, this is no longer the norm as
individuals have their say to chart their own careers. The flattening of organizational layers has
reduced the career path that individuals have to go through or has made the career path less clear.
Changes in organization policies that may lead to the reduction of the number of employees and other
cost-cutting measures may have impact on the intention of employees to stay longer in the
organization, or employees may become less optimistic about their organizational career progression.
Therefore, in the present day employment, experiencing CP may no longer be an embarrassment to
many employees.
The significance of SCP is also based on an emerging concept in career studies called protean
careers. Protean career is introduced by Hall (1996; 2004), where it outlines a fundamental shift away
from the traditional career dominating its understanding in the late 1980s, to one that is ‘protean’
(derived from Greek word ‘proteus’ that means one who will change shape at will). Protean career is
characterized by relationships, which are driven by the individuals not the organization and is
subjected to initiatives by the person from time to time as the person and the environment change
(Hall, 2004; McDonald, Brown & Bradley, 2005). Protean career is related to psychological success
experienced by an individual and can mean a personalized accomplishment accompanied by self-pride
and empowerment.
According to Hall (2004), the personalities required for successful protean career individuals
include involvement in key functions of the organization, continuous learning, self-awareness and self-
focused in doing tasks, personal responsibility, and autonomy. McDonald et al. (2005) further assert
that traditional commitment and loyalty to organization are less important in the protean career as
organization tend to pursue more transactional relationships with employees while the latter
emphasizes more self-interest careers. Many factors found to influence career paths in the
contemporary literature are consistent with the protean career. These include the availability of mentors
(Allen, Eby, Poteet, and Lentz, 2004), assertiveness (McDonald and Hite, 1996), level of exposure to
assignments involving risks and visibility (McDonald et al. (2005), and among the women academics
factors such as networking and involvement in administration are significant (Maimunah & Roziah,
2007). Therefore, there is a close connection between SCP and protean career in the sense that both are
psychologically related domains of an employee and the parameters of careers are self-determined and
Examples of statements used in SCP measurements are as follows: For career plateau the
questions are: (1) My opportunities for upward movement are limited in my present organization and
(2) I expected to be promoted in my organization. The respondents were required to answer by using
Likert Scale from 1- Strongly disagreed to 5- Strongly agreed. This is based on a study by Chay et al.
(1995) and is recently used in Mat Sani et al.’ study (2006) among the Malaysian administrative and
diplomatic officers. Instrument for job performance of employees was measured by ‘self-rating

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

performance’ which consisted of 11 questions developed by Choo (1986). A five-point Likert Scale
was used to measure from 1-very dissatisfactory to 5-very satisfactory. Examples of items are (1)
Maintaining quantity of work; (2) Planning and organizing of work. The reliability of alpha value is
Similarly there are instruments measuring job satisfaction (Holland & Gottfredson, 1994),
organizational commitment (Mowday & Steers, 1979), job involvement (Kanungo, 1982) and intention
to quit (Camman et al., 1979). All the instruments have sound Cronbach reliability levels of more than

Consequences of CP
Studies have indicated negative outcomes associated with plateauing that can be used as consequences
of CP. Plateaued employees have higher absenteeism and less satisfaction with supervisors, have more
health problems (Near, 1985), more stress (Elsas & Ralston, 1989), greater intention to leave the
organization (Tremblay et al., 1995), report low level of work satisfaction and organizational
commitment (Chao, 1990; Milliman, 1992; Nachbagauer & Riedl, 2002).
Zaremba’s (1994) comparative analysis between plateaued and non-plateaued managers in a
large public service firm in the United Kingdom suggested that plateaued managers believed that they
i). Have had more opportunities to work on interesting and challenging jobs; ii). Have been assigned by
the organization key assignments and promotion; iii). Are more satisfied with the career guidance
given; and iv) Are a more ambitious group.
Despite the dysfunctional effects of CP, there is evidence to suggest that such negativities may
lead to optimism from the perspective of employees. Employees who have attained CP are able to
adapt to reduced opportunities and responsibilities. Some of them may hope to attain CP because they
could not cope with constraints and stress that advancement imposes (Lee, 2002; Gunz, 1989). Plateau
can be a highly desirable period of rest and security that provides an opportunity to recharge energy
and re-digest new ideas. Some employees experience CP as a result of choice not by design of the
management of the organization. Kreuter (1993) supported this notion that a plateau can be healthy for
professionals, particularly those who have not attained a breakthrough in their careers. There is actually
optimism about CP depending on how it is used in helpful ways. Some employees feel safe and secure
during plateaus. In other words, a period of stability is healthy provided there is accomplishment. In
fact, the world of learning and working requires plateaus. A plateau can be a positive experience if
combined with commitment and assurance for work renewal and aspiration. This is a healthy way of
looking at plateauing.
Lee’s (2002) analysis on the need of SCP can be associated with the consequences of CP on the
basis of attitudinal changes experienced by the employees. In the past, many employees expect that
seniority would help them advance in the organizational hierarchy. Nowadays, this is no longer the
norm as individuals have their say to chart their own careers. The flattening of organizational layers
has reduced the career path that individuals have to go through or made the career path less clear.
Changes in organization policies that lead to employee downsizing and other cost-cutting measures
may have an impact on employees’ intention to stay longer in the organization, or employees may
become less optimistic about their organizational career progression. Therefore, in the present day
employment, experiencing CP may no longer be embarrassing to many employees.
Description on the consequences of CP can be made according to the differences between
plateaued and nonplateaued employees. Past research that have operationalized plateauing as job tenure
have demonstrated that plateaued individuals are more in seniority than those who are nonplateaued
(Tremblay & Roger, 1993). Milliman (1992) found no significant differences in incidences of
plateauing between men and women. However, Allen et al. (1998) found women become plateaued
sooner than men although they have been fairly successful reaching lower-level management positions.
Women were said to have fewer advancement opportunities available than did men as they faced

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

numerous barriers due to demands for family-work balance. Zaremba (1994) noted a little difference
between male and female managers in which plateaued females had a markedly higher level
satisfaction with pay and rewards than males or non-plateaued females. This may reflect the fact that
females as a whole have been conditioned to expect less in the way of material rewards, but this is
otherwise among the high-flyers. The study also showed that non-plateaued male managers were
significantly more satisfied with their ability to develop their own career without help compared to the
other group of managers.

Coping Strategies of Career Plateau

Elsas and Ralston (1989) propose three strategies in response to plateaued individuals, namely,
transition, reappraisal and defense. Transition involves getting into a new role, lateral transfer or
retirement. This strategy looks the easiest but it appears to be the one least used. Often individuals are
unable to realize the roots of their problem or they are reluctant to accept the decision due to lack of
resources and for economic reason that they have to stay with the job. Reappraisal is about making
manipulation to the meaning of plateaue. It selectively ignores the stressful aspects of career plateau in
order to reduce the career stress. For example, a plateaued employee may say that a promotion may
lead to a higher job responsibility. Therefore, to avoid responsibility they seem to be willing not to be
promoted. This coping strategy is equated with the situation that the person looks pessimistic with the
task and career movement does not seem to be an ambition. The third type, defense, is an act toward
minimizing the physical discomfort caused by plateauing, such as taking drug or alcohol. These
responses seem to be internal defense mechanisms that do not change the stressor in any way.
Many studies on CP are about the portrayal of plateauing in negative terms. Hence, CP has
been used as an antecedent to many undesirable work outcomes such as low job satisfaction, high
stress, low job commitment, poor performance, low motivation, absenteeism, and intention to quit.
This is based on the quest toward upgrading work performance and finding the root cause of the work
problems. It is also based on the tenet that employees do care about their careers and the goal of
research is to find inputs for organization to cope with and to mitigate the negative consequences of
undesirable behaviours of the affected employees. As such, CP becomes a focus in career research
since CP has potential to cause interference in management that entails costs and other resources.
There are studies conducted to find the roles of some moderating variables in the relationship
between CP and work outcomes, hence to find ways to reduce the negative impacts of plateauing. The
studies basically used moderated hierarchical regression (Aguinis, 2004). Chay et al. (1995) studied
among managerial and professional employees in Singapore on the role of moderating variables in the
relationship between CP and work outcomes. The moderators are supervisor support and job
challenges; while work outcomes are organizational commitment, job involvement, job satisfaction,
career satisfaction and in-role behaviours. The study revealed that there were mixed results on the roles
of the moderators in which job challenge significantly and positively moderated the effect of CP on job
involvement; and supervisor support significantly and positively moderated the effect of CP on
organizational commitment, job satisfaction and career satisfaction. Tremblay and Roger (2004) as
well as Mat Sani et al. (2006) in their studies found that supervisory support and job performance
moderated work outcomes that consisted of job satisfaction, organizational commitment and intention
to quit, as well as job involvement in a number of variations. The moderating effect of supervisor
support and job challenge on work outcomes indicates that, when the organizational career system does
not neglect plateaued employees and they are instead provided with intervention and challenging jobs,
they can remain active and productive even when they perceive the hierarchical career immobility.
This suggests that the moderators could be used as among components to be incorporated in strategies
to cope with plateauees.
This article adopts and adapts recommendations on strategies to handle plateauing as suggested
by Appelbaun and Finestone (1994), Zaremba (1994), Feldman and Weitz (1988), Nachbagauer and

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Riedl (2002). As there is no all encompassing panacea of CP, the strategies crystallized as follows
should help human resource personnel to deal with the phenomenon:
1. Policies facilitating lateral, cross departmental moves. Moving employees laterally can
prevent content plateauing. Content plateauing occurs when people perform the same set of
activities over a period of time in doing routine tasks. There is no additional learning takes
place. There should be provision in the assessment appraisal on points given to lateral
transfer that is associated with the number of jobs assigned.
2. Job redesign and training. Corporate career-planning programs can be developed to train
managers to design creative ways to add new responbilities and rewards to present jobs.
Activities suggested are mentoring, service on interdepartmental activities, and teamwork
can be rewarding in terms of new learning.
3. Creation of more project-type jobs. The project management job design is an ideal way to
meet both the organization’s needs for flexibility and individual’s need for broad based
career experience. The project design can attract individuals from all levels of organizations
and pay can be based on project goals and resources rather than on formal positions.
4. Periodic rotation of technical specialists. A specialist could be rotated from one division to
the other to develop new skill and provide challenge in a slightly new environment. The
new area does not entirely mean a new specialty but one where the individuals will be
inspired to learn new things to support tasks.
5. Loaned employees. Loaning employees from one department to another (e.g. one
overstaffed department to another understaffed department) allows employees to learn or
relearn new skills; hence it avoids the need to lay off people due to overstaffing.
6. Voluntary separation scheme. Voluntary separation scheme (VSS) is a new scheme
practiced such as in Malaysia by organizations resulting from downsizing, merger and
restructuring where employees who opt for the scheme receive compensation due to early
exit from the organization. Plateaued employees may be advised for the scheme as a means
to leave the organization. This scheme is normally practiced by large profit-making
7. Dual career ladders. Organizations might consider the use of dual career ladders. By using
these dual career ladders, organizations more satisfactorily match employees with different
career anchors to different career paths; hence the decrease in work mismatches should
result in fewer plateaued performers.

This article has discussed the constructs of CP, consequences, measurements and its coping strategies.
Structural CP is seemingly inevitable due to limited hierarchical mobility as only a small percentage of
employees will make to the decision making level.
However, content and personal CP can be reduced as there are many strategies formulated by
organizations depending on their professional visions. From research perspectives, the strategies are
conceptualized as moderators or moderating factors; and they can be categorized as structural career
opportunities, intrinsic job rewards or recognition. It is clear that coping with plateaued employees is
not the responsibility of the individuals, but also the employers as both should take proactive roles to
mitigate the effect of plateauing. Employees are encouraged to find job enrichment, rather than to
concentrate on future promotion. On the other hand, organizations should continue to show
appreciation for employee performance, or to provide opportunity for various challenging lateral
transfers of job moves to the affected employees. It is also important that everyone should understand
that plateauing is an acceptable reality of organizational life and the various initiatives taken to mitigate
the effects of CP add to the complexity of the roles of management, organization and the individuals.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Allen, T.D., Russell. J.E., & Poteet, M. L. (1998). Attitudes of managers who are more or less
career plateaued. The Career Development Quarterly 47, 159 – 171.
[2] Allen T. D., Eby, L. T., Poteet, M. L., & Lentz, E. (2004). Career benefits associated with
mentoring for protégés: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(1), 127-136.
[3] Appelbaum, S. H., & Finestone, D. (1994). Revisiting career plateauing: same old problems –
avant-garde solution. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 9(5), 12-21.
[4] Aguinis, H. (2004). Regression analysis for categorical moderator. New York, London: The
Guilford Press.
[5] Bardwick, J. M. (1986). The Plateauing Trap. New York, NY: Amazon.
[6] Cammann, C., Fichman, M., Jenkins, D. & Klesh, J.R. (1979). The Michigan organizational
assessment questionnaire. Unpublished manuscript. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
[7] Chay, Y. W., Aryee, S., & Chew, I. (1995).Career plateauing reactions and moderator among
managerial and professional employee. International Journal of Human Resources
Management, 6 (1), 61-78.
[8] Chao, G.T. (1990). Exploration of the conceptualization and measurement of career plateau: A
comparative analysis. Journal of Management, 16 (1),181-93.
[9] Choo, F. (1982). Accountants and occupational stress. The Australian Accountant. November,
[10] Duffy, J. E. (2000). The application of Chaos Theory to the career-plateaued worker. Journal of
Employment Counseling, 37 (December 2000), 229 – 236.
[11] Elsas, P. M., & Ralston, D. A. (1989). Individual response to the stress of career plateauing.
Journal of Management, 15(1), 35-47.
[12] Feldman, D. C., & Weitz, B. A. (1988). Career plateaus in the sales force: Understanding and
removing blockages to employee growth. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management,
VIII (November 1988), 23 - 32.
[13] Ference, T., Stoner, J. A. & Warren, E. K. (1977). Managing the career plateau. Academic of
Management Review., 2 (10), 602-12
[14] Gunz, H. (1989). Career and Corporate Cultures, Oxford: Basil Blackwell
[15] Hughes, W. (2004). Getting on the Right Track at Work. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Times
[16] Hall, D. T. (2004). The protean career: A quarter century journey, Journal of Vocational
Behaviour, 65 (1), 1-13.
[17] Hall, D. T. (1996). Protean career of the 21st century, Academy of Management Executive,
10(4), 8-16.
[18] Holland, J. L., & Gottfredson, G.D (1994). Career attitudes and strategies inventory: An
inventory for understanding adult careers. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
[19] Kreuter, E. A. (1993). Why career plateaus are healthy. The CPA Journal Online, Oct 1993.
http://www.nysscpa.org/cpa journal.
[20] Kanungo, R.M (1982). Measurement of job and work involvement. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 67, 341-9.
[21] Lee, P. C. B. (2003). Going beyond career plateau: Using professional plateau to account for
work outcomes. Journal of Management Development, 22 (6), 538 – 551.
[22] Maimunah, I., & Roziah, M. R. (2007). Impact of networking on career development:
Experience of high-flying women academics. Human Resource Development International.
10(2), 157 – 172.
[23] Mat Sani, H., Maimunah, I., & Jegak, U. (2006). Moderating role of job performance on the
relationship between career plateauing and work outcomes among administrative and
diplomatic officers in Malaysia. The Journal of Global Business Management, 2 (3), 12 – 18.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[24] McDonald P., Brown, K., & Bradley, L. 2005). Have traditional career paths given way to
protean ones? Evidence from senior managers in the Australian public sector. Career
Developemnt International, 10 (2), 109-129.
[25] McDonald P., & Hite, L. M. (1996). HRD initiatives contributing to women’s career progress
In Holton, E. F. (Ed.), Academy of Human Resource Development Proceedings, Minneapolis,
[26] Milliman, J. F. (1992). Causes, consequences and moderating factors of career plateauing.
Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California.
[27] Mowday, R, and Steers, R.M. (1979). The measurement of organization commitment. Journal
of Vocational Behaviour, 14, 224-47
[28] Nachbagauer, A. G., & Riedl, G. (2002). Effects of concepts of career plateaus on performance,
work satisfaction and commitment. International Journal of Manpower, 23 (8), 716-733.
[29] Near, J. P. (1985). A discriminant analysis of plateaued employees versus nonplateaued
managers. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 26, 177-188.
[30] Tetenbaum,T. J. (1998). Shifting paradigms: From Newton to chaos. Organizational Dynamics,
24, 21-32.
[31] Tremblay, M., & Roger, A. (2004). Career plateauing rections: The moderating roles of job
scope, role ambiguity and participant among Canadian managers. The International Journal of
Human Resource Management, 15(6), 996-1017.
[32] Zaremba, D. S. (1994). The managerial plateau: What helps in developing career? The
International Journal of Career Management, 6(2), 5-11.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Effective Time Managemement for Teaching Effectiveness

Adams O. U. Onuka
Institute of Education, Univeristy of Ibadan, Ibadan
E-mail: adamonuka@yahoo.com
Tel: +234-803-356-4064 /02-7522684

Virgy Onyene
Department of Educational Administration, University of Lagos, Akoka

I. Olanrewaju Junaid
Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, Ibadan

This paper discusses the essence of time management and its positive effect on teaching
and subsequently on learning. Samples were selected in two phases of the study viz: at the
outset when 31 schools were selected in Ibadan City and after phase one of the study when
the most effective teacher-time-manager and the least-effective-teacher-time manager were
identified. Thirty students each from these classes were randomly selected and used as the
pretest –posttest experimental/control groups design to confirm or confound the results of
one. Findings include: effective-time management resulted in effective and learning, if
teachers were to be effective time managers they must minimize social activities and
devote more time preparation, good time management engenders improved student
performance etc. Recommendations were that to assist teachers to manage their time better,
they should be well remunerated; teachers should reduce their social activities to the barest
minimum; they should the business more seriously among others.

Keywords: Time management; teaching effectiveness.

Time management could be viewed as the process whereby people spend their working days through a
proper allocation of their time vis- a–vis the content of their job in such a way that no element of his
job gains more time, than it is necessary, at the expense of the other elements of the job. Ogunsanya
and Agu (1990) define time management as the way managers typically spend their working days
through proper apportionment of their time. Emefiele (Ogunsanya and Agu 1990) states that the
measure of the effective manager is in his very tender love for time and in his ability to get the right
things done (and one dare to add at the right time). However, Drucker (1967) posits that effective time
managers are not just content with starting tasks, but also with their time. In essence, they first find
where their time goes but planning the use of their time.
It is obvious that if time management is ineffective, the possibility of achieving one’s goals is
remote, and the rate of poor performance by those who did not manage their time effectively would be
very high. Though time is a very precious and very scarce resource, it is a resource that every human
has equal access to, but may either it effectively or ineffectively. Every body is equally endowed in
terms of time. Everyone has 24 hours to use, which can neither be reduced nor added to. If anything at
all we can only add utility to its usage in proper allocation to its contending demands and effective
utilization of every bit of the allocated time. You cannot recreate it, as nobody is favoured or
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

disfavoured in its endowment. Yet its wise user, is the gainer, while of course the foolish user of time
is the loser and the non – performer. Thus Drucker (1967) sees time as “totally inelastic, priceless,
totally perishable, irreplaceable and cannot be stored”. Therefore, we must see time as it is, scarce and
an economic resource, which needs to be proportionately and wisely distributed among the tasks being
performed by the individual, particularly as we know that it can neither be contracted nor expanded.
Time is God-given resource, made available to everyone in equal amount. The allocation and usage to
its competing needs depends on one’s scale of preference and our ability to budget our time
appropriately. Every minute of one’s time is very important and it could be make or mar the entire
process. Hence, Blanchard (1985) posits that a minute is an important component of available time that
must be well utilized. Note that every minute of our available time must be effectively managed, if the
desired result were to be achieved. Mokuolu (2007) unequivocally states that time, in addition to skill
and ability, is an important determinant of achievement in any human endeavour. In fact God Himself
is a time manager as can be inferred from the creation record in Genesis chapter one and the injunction
that there is time for every thing under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3: 1 – 10) bear witness to the fact that
time management is a necessity irrespective of one’s calling, and indeed for the teacher who imparts
Time is a period or duration of period available to you to carry out certain assignment. It is
period within which a thing or task must be done. Doing such a thing implies that it may have to be
broken into parts, if it were to be both efficiently and effectively done. In the execution of the school
curriculum, for instance there is a period of time allocated to the teaching of a segment of a subject for
efficiently and effectively imparting appropriate and relevant knowledge to the taught. Most often a 35
or 40 minute period of time is given to teaching a particular topic in a subject either once or twice a
week. Thus the teacher, say of mathematics would, therefore, work out how best to utilize the time
allocated to the teaching and learning of that topic effectively. Time in relative term, has components,
in the sense that whatever you are billed to do within a given period of time determines the components
of that given time. The contents of and duration of each element of the task to be done determines the
components of the given time during which the particular task must be accomplished. A thorough
analysis of the various God-given resources will reveal that time is one of the freest, cheapest and most
equitably distributed. Hardly will one purchase time, yet time when well utilized it brings in money to
its user.
Planning is the key to effective time utilization and management. Ejiogu (2004) views
planning, as “the practical thinking, dreaming, scheming and scheduling of the activities that would be
performed in order to achieve the objectives for which the enterprise has been set up.” It is also
projecting, designing or charting out a course of action. Thus time planning can be described, as time
scheduling which in our context must be relative to the activities of teaching and simultaneous
learning. The steps involved in the proper imparting of the relevant knowledge, skill and attitude in
question in terms of the object of study i.e. teaching and learning individual topics of a particular
discipline determines how the time will be scheduled. The components of a particular task and the
amount of time, it will take must be forecasted and estimated to aid the scheduling of the time. A
properly scheduled time coupled with the determination to use it well will result in a time well utilized.
Time utilization is determined by the tasks to be done and the time each task element will take to be
executed and work in absolutely compliance with the given time scheduled for the completion of the
task (Onuka, 2006).
Onuka (2004) posits hat forecasting, planning and budgeting are some of the tools of
management. He describes “management” as an everyday phenomenon which involves everybody. He
views management as including (or encompassing) forecasting, planning, organizing, implementing
and monitoring and evaluation, while Easterby-smith (1995) considers “management” as all about
planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting. He points out that,
acceptable definition of the subject depends on who the person defining the term is and what he wants
to do with the definition. However, in the context of time management and classroom interaction we

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

may view it as the ability to plan and budget time for classroom interaction for effective teaching and
learning by both the educator and the educated (pupils). Time management could thus be described
appropriately as using a time scheduled to accomplish a predetermined task, working within the
allocated time to complete each component efficiently and effectively. Effective time management
leads to effective use of time which in turn denotes the right utilization of God’s equitable gift to
mankind yet a scarce resource, right thus yielding the appropriate outcome. Efficient use of time is the
right combination in the right quantum of the resource with other resources to yield the right output if
effectively handled. You can be efficient and may not be effective and verse versa. Effective use of
time will often yield the appropriate expected result.
It is important to note that management denotes appropriate planning, organizing and
utilization, evaluation and feedback.
Effective teaching and learning in the context of time management starts with effectively
forecasting the classroom activities required to make a particular topic or subject effectively taught and
learned within a given time horizon. You, who as a teacher, are to facilitate both teaching and learning
will break these activities into tasks and forecast the duration within which each task can be
undertaken.. This is followed by allocation of time duration to every step or task that is required to
complement others to make a whole. This act can be regarded as time budgeting or time scheduling.
This comes with practice. So you may not be very accurate the very first time you do it. Next you
organize the materials that could facilitate the process of teaching-learning. Having done this, you may
proceed to carry out a mock implementation of your programme according to the schedule; so as to
ensure that what you have done will work in the actual practice or life situation. Effective
teaching/learning (classroom interaction), and effective time management is a product of thorough
planning, time budgeting, organization and strict adherence to implementation time schedule. Doing
this rightly at the right time and doing it right the first time will result from several mock practices. For
a teacher who has already taught a class before he has to start his classroom interaction with the recall
of what was taught before, to determine the rate of learning of the previous activity by the pupils,
however, if the class has just started then he may well do an oral pre-test (questioning) to ascertain
previous attainment, so as to decide how proceed and where to start from. This segment of the
classroom interaction must be given its appropriate timing with strict adherence to it in order to
engender effective time management. He decides what time to give to introduction of the new topic,
time for questioning which will spur pupils’ participation as well as ascertain how much of what is
being taught has been learnt. You should also allot time to the pupils’ questioning so that you can clear
their doubts about the subject matter and thus facilitating their own learning process. The above
illustration can be presented as follows:
1. Recall or determination of previous attainment 5 minutes out of 35 minutes
2. Introduction (5 minutes)
3. Teaching (step by step) (15 minutes)
4. Questioning (both by the teacher and the learners) (5 minutes)
5. Restating/clarification (5 minutes)
6. Evaluation of the lesson (2 minutes)
7. Summarise the lesson restating the salient points (3 minutes)
White (1998) states that in time budgeting and managing well, one should first identify his
vision and clarify the vision before proceeding to do any other thing including prioritizing our lesson
plan. To enable you achieve the objectives of teaching, one must do one thing at a time. Organize your
plan by putting/pooling together all the necessary events/materials in the appropriate order. Start with
the no 1 or grade 1 priority rather than grade 3 or 4 priority. In case of a lesson must be systematic –
introduction will be considered grade 1 priority as it leads to the main theme and move to the main
theme step by step mindful of the time allocated to each.
An example of how we can plan to manage our time properly is shown by table below:

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 1: shows a hypothetical time/task schedule for a classroom lesson period.

Task Time
Introduction 5 mins
Step 1 5 mins
Step 2 5 mins
Step 3 6 mins
Step4 4 mins
Restating/questioning/evaluation 10 mins
Conclusion 5 mins
Total 40 mins

Time management is not just about planning; it is also about results. So proceed from planning
to organization then to action.
We need to note the following two ways in which we can manage our time effectively:
1. Lesson time management is a micro type (time management schedule) (Locale).
2. Global (Macro) Time Management – Your Whole Day (Typical Day) time management
It should also be noted that the macro time management would of a necessity encompass the
micro type. Micro time management is subsumed in the macro type. In other words the locale must be
situated within the context of global.
Thus we must evolve macro and micro time management and ensure that they syncronise well.
Macro time management schedule should precede micro time management, because the success of the
latter depends largely on the success of the former. An example of macro time management schedule is
what is often referred by corporate bodies as year planner. It should be stated that no schedule is
perfect because they are based on forecasting and estimates. Yet it is far better than none.
In summary, the following steps are essential to effective time management:
• Adequate knowledge of the activities to be undertaken, their individual expected duration,
and their sequence of occurrence.
• Always remember there is only 24 hours in day
• Note that the afore-mentioned makes time, though equitably God-given resource, yet
scarce, leading to the fact that we must prioritize our activities both globally and micro –
• Thus allocate time to every activity (including sleep, relaxation and eating) to be undertaken
• These preceding parts (steps) call for thorough planning of the use of time
• Linear programming/graph could be used to depict one’s use of time plan
• Rehearse plan in a mock exercise to ensure effective actual implementation
• Implement strictly according to schedule
• Review the implementation
• Feedback the result to the plan
• Revise your time plan
• Rehearse it again
• Implement again
It is thus a cycle of planning, executing, reviewing, feedback and revision until perfection is
attained; and since real perfection is far fetched, it is a continuous process until thy kingdom come
You can practice this again and again until perfection is obtained, but since perfection can only
be achieved by God then the process remains a continuous one. However, you cannot be effective in
time management unless you decide your decide your priority of events to be included in your time
These include preliminary preparation, every event and its duration vis a vis other activities of
the day. You should also plan the use of time allocated to every activity, rehearse the execution of the
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

plan and the delivery which ultimately proves the effectiveness of the management of your time. Please
note that you break your lesson into steps and match the time appropriate for the completion of each
step in accordance with their weighting. Globally too you may also organize your activities for a week
by planning and scheduling these activities through time budgeting and control of all the week
activities and then ensure strict adherence to the schedule during implementation. Be sure that a one
time schedule is done on day by day basis if it were to be effective.

The Problem of the Study

Arising from the fact that many a Nigerian teacher does not effectively manage his/her time and the
consequent ineffectiveness of the teacher in facilitating high degree of learning, this investigation set
out to study the reasons why this is so and to find out how the trend can be overcome.

Research Questions
1. Are teachers able to manage their time effectively?
2. What are the constraints to teachers effectively managing their time?
3. How can these impediments be overcome?

Ho1: There is no difference between teaching effectiveness of teachers who manage their time
effectively and those who do not

Research Procedure
Research Method
The method adopted for this research was ex post as well as quasi – experimental and control type with
the pretest post test design.

Population, Sampling and Sample

The target population was all the teachers of secondary schools in Both Ibadan city and Ibadan less city
of a total of eleven Local Government Council Areas, Oyo State, Nigeria.

Sampling and Sample

The multi-stage sampling technique was adopted as follows:
Ibadan was clustered into eleven LGCA’s. The proportion of schools per LGCA was
proportionately but randomly chosen. The researchers decided that at least half of the number of
schools in LGCA would be randomly sample. Finally one Economics teacher in each of the selected
schools was used in the sample. Two sets of 30 students each from two of the schools were used for
quasi – experimental group and control group were chosen, to represent one effective time
management teacher and the other non –effective teacher as was found the first step analysis who were
again observed for six weeks.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 2: LGCA’s, number of Schools and Sample size

S/No LGCA No of Schools Sample size

1 Akinyele 19 4
2 Egbeda 12 2
3 Ibadan North 23 5
4 “ North-East 11 2
5 “ North-West 07 1
6 “ South-East 17 3
7 “ South-West 23 5
8 Ido 07 1
9 Lagelu 18 4
10 Oluyole 12 2
11 Ona-Ara 10 2
Total 149 31

A typical teacher full day time/work 12-item schedule – check list kind of instrument designed and
validated by the researchers, through test – retest, and intra and inter rate correlation at the following
coefficients 0.86, 0.74 and 0.71 was used in collecting some of the data. Respondents were also
requested to freely list what they considered constraints to time management as well as possible ways
of overcoming these constraints, to which they listed ten points against each of constraints and ways of
overcoming them.

Method of Data Collection

Data for the study was collected using the check-list and direct observation using anecdotal coding as
the principal actions of concern in the study such as giving directives, instructing, teacher questioning,
student questioning, response (teacher and student), clarification, summarizing, evaluation and
conclusion in the classroom. It also examined and award mark using the format of time/lesson schedule
as well as the lesson plan content, lesson preparation/rehearsal period earlier on discussed. Each
teacher was observed and rated twice by either one of the researchers or a trained assistant and once by
another rater.
The two schools in which the most effective time management teacher (A) and the most non-
effective time management teacher (B) were found (as revealed by the first step analysis in the study)
and their respective classes were used as experimental group and control group. Pretest and post test
were administered on the both groups to determine the effect of effective teacher time management on
student cognitive achievement viz a viz non effective time management, having assisted the former to
better manage his time for three further weeks.

Method of Analysis
Data used were got from collating and coding data from the three sources of data of direct observation,
checklist and the lesson notes.
Data from the exercise were analysed using qualitative analysis and statistics such as
percentage, Spearman – Brown rank order correlation statistic.
The second stage data analysis involved the use of t-test statistic

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Findings and Discussion

Table 3: The relative effective time utilization and management in percentage

S/no Percentage range No of teachers Remarks

1 1-10 -
2 11-20 -
3 21-30 1 Found to be a drunk (very very poor time managers.
4 31-40 4 Seriously involved in local partisan politics (very poor time managers)
5 41-50 7 Were not fully interested in teaching (poor time managers)
Were partially committed but had to contend with family & other
6 51-60 4
interests (fair time managers)
7 61-70 5 Fairly good time managers
8 71-80 3 Good time managers
9 81-90 5 Very good time managers
10 91-100 2 Excellent time manager
Total 31

The table above presents qualitative data that shows that a number of teachers in the sample
know something about managing their lesson by planning how to utilize their lesson time well ahead
the actual period for maximal effectiveness. The number of the teachers who scored from 50% to 100%
on the effective time management scale was 19 which are 61% of sample used in the study. An
indication that a number of them had knowledge on time management by way of planning and
executing their lesson period well enough to make them effective teachers which is the essence of time
management in a school setting, which is in consonance with the finding of (Ogunsanya and Agu,
1990). However, 39% of the subjects in the study did not bother to plan their time well as so they were
ineffective teachers as proved by the result of the quasi-experiment carried out to find out whether a
relationship exists between effective management and students’ achievement in this study. Well a
number of teachers could manage their well because they did not think it necessary to do because they
felt they have already garnered sufficient to make them effective without planning to manage their
time. They thus rely on residual and archaic knowledge rather than imbibing dynamism in their career
and by extension effectiveness in their chosen field of endeavour. Some felt constraints by poverty,
thus instead of planning ahead for the next lesson they are engaged in making ends meet, by taking on
some other activities that can earn them some other income. But those who were content with the job
made out time to the necessary preparation for effective teaching through time management (TM)
agreeing with the view held by (Blanchard and Peter, 1985; and White, 1998).

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 4: Perceived constraints to time management and suggested solutions (in percentages)

Constraints Frequency Percentage Suggested solutions Frequency Percentage

Lacking competence in TM 13 41.9* Mounting of training on TM 28 90.3**
Many demands contending
17 54.8 Increase salary 31 100
for time
Many administrative Employ more teachers to reduce
18 58.1 29 93.5
assignments work
Reduce administrative
Student over-population 12 38.7 assignment given to classroom 23 74.2
Too short a time to cover Make content of syllabi more
19 61.3 21 67.7
syllabi concise
Much family needs to be Teachers should not be involved
25 80.6 24 77.4
met in too many social obligations
Teachers must create time for
Social demands to attend to 29 93.5 11 35.5
preparation outside sch. Hour
Can’t create time outside of Teachers must not assume
14 45.2 15 48.4
school hours to prepare knowledge or competence
The assumption of
adequate knowledge of the 12 38.7 Teachers must be committed 16 51.6
subject matter/competence
* provides answer to question 2
** provides answer to question 3

From table 4 above in the first three columns, it is clearly shown that quite a substantial number
of the respondents, irrespective of whether or not they are effective time managers; believe that there
are constraints to the teacher effective time management. The constraints listed by the respondents
include lack of knowledge of/incompetence in time management (41.9), many things demanding for
the teacher’s time (54.8), teachers being overloaded with administrative responsibility (58.1), student
overpopulation (38.7), time available for teacher not commensurate to the content of syllabi causing
rush to finish the content (61.3), trying to meet family needs which does not teachers to devote much of
their outside of school to preparation of school work (80.6), Efforts to meet social demands (93.5),
teachers are unwilling to create time for school work out of their leisure time (45.2) and assumption of
adequate knowledge of subject matter and/competence in teaching (38.7). The implication of these
findings as expressed by teachers is that unless these perceived constraints are addressed, many of
them would rather pursue other businesses that could enhance their standard of living at the expense of
their teaching preparation since theirs is not just routine work that has to be followed day in day out.
Whereas, according to White (1988), Ogunsanya and Agu (1990) and Blanchard and Lorber (1985) if
one were to be effective in his duty, he must plan and manage his work time effectively, which implies
that these findings in some measure contradict the norm due possibly to wrong value system imbibed
by the society. Since teaching results in learning and learning in education and development of the total
man which according Onuka (2004) is the tool for national development, then these constraints must be
addressed as suggested by the respondents in the section of this work. Some of the constraints listed
show that there the need for value reorientation because money has been placed above dedication and
contribution to development.
The last three columns of table 4 provide answer to question three.
The result here shows that the respondents are of the opinion that if these measures here
suggested are considered and implemented there may be considerable improvement in the average
teacher attitude to time management which by extension implies preparation for effective teaching. The
suggested solutions by the respondents are namely:
Mounting regular training programme on the import of the time management (90.3), increase in
teachers’ salary to reduce their level of search for extra income to enable them plan and manage their
school time effectively (100), employment of more teachers to reduce the work over load on the
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

teachers to enable them devote more to preparation rather than battling to cope with the overcrowd of
students in terms of attention and marking (93.5), reduction in administrative responsibility given to
the teachers so allow to allow them sufficient to plan and manage their school time (74.2), making the
content of the syllabi concise to allow for enough and avoid rush so that the teacher can effectively
manage their time and the consequent teaching effectiveness (67.7), teachers must reduce the premium
they place on socials to allow them enough time to plan to educate and develop the young and up
coming generations (77.4), teachers must create time to plan and manage their teaching effectively and
thus the concomitant learning (35.5), Teachers assume sufficient knowledge and competence to the
level of disregarding the need to prepare for effective teaching which is the import of the teacher time
management concept (48.4) and the teacher must be fully committed to duty (51.6). All these
suggestions confirm the need for training and retraining of the Nigerian manpower in all sectors of the
economy as posited by Onuka (2004).

Table 5: Aggregate intra-rater and inter rater correlation coefficients showing the relationship teacher time
mgt and teaching effectiveness.

Type No Intra-rater Inter-rater

Effective time managers* 19 0.76 0.72
Ineffective time managers** 12 0.69 0.66
* Teachers rated fair time managers to those rated excellent time managers were collapsed together to form the effective time manager category
** Those rated poor time managers and below as indicated in table 3 were categorized as ineffective.

Table 6: The t-test of significance of the difference between the performance of the students of the effective
time management teachers and those of the non-effective time management teacher in economics

Pretest Posttest
Group Sample size t-obs t-crit
Mean SD Mean SD
Teacher A’s Students 30 46 6.9 56 7 12.71 2.66
Teacher B’s Students 30 34 8.0 39.5 7
P= 0.01 df= 58

Tables 5&6 show the results providing clue to the hypothesis of this study. Table 5 shows high
correlation between good time management and teaching effectiveness as well as poor time
management and lower teaching effectiveness. The aggregate intra-rater and inter-rater of 0.76 and
0.72, for good time management and teaching effectiveness show that the efficient and effective time
manager the teacher is the more effective he is in his teaching exploits. In the same the table also
reveals that the less efficient and effective time manager the teacher is the less effective he is most
likely to be in his teaching undertakings. These results agree with postulation of Ejiogu (2004) that
planning and the resultant management of resource constitutes the key to effectively implementing a
programme. They equally confirm the findings of Ogunsanya and Agu (1990) that effective time
management engenders effective teaching and learning as well as the views of Blanchard and Lorber
(1988) and White (1998) that effective time management is a result of good planning which leads to
the realization of set organizational goal and objectives. This is because time management is composite
to project planning, management and implementation (Onuka, 2006). The results depicted in table 6
confirm the findings shown in table and goes on to show that good time management engender not
only effective teaching but also effective learning (Ogunsanya and Agu, 1990; and Onuka, 2006). With
a mean score of (56 post test) against a mean score of 46 at pre-test implying a ten-unit gain for the
experimental group whereas the mean score of 34 for the control group at pre-test, and a mean score of
39.5 at pos-test meaning a gain of 5.5 units as against the ten-unit in favour of the experimental group.
An indication that good time management results in effective learning by the taught. This result
underscores the views and findings of some authors and researchers that time management definitely
and necessarily engenders effective learning and /or performance (Blanchard and Lorber, 1985;
Ogunsanya and Agu, 1990; White, 1998 and Onuka, 2006). Thus there is no gainsaying that in the
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

circumstance, where there is a substantial chunk of teachers who are not skilled in time management
nor wanting to get to terms with time management which is probably why vices (including
examination malpractices are on the increase in our educational institutions, the need to urgently
addressed this anomaly cannot be overstressed.
The t-test of significance shows that the t-observed is greater than t-critical the hypothesis that
there is no significant difference between achievement of the students of time –effective management
teacher and those of non-effective time management teacher should be rejected because the result
prove there is a significant difference between the students of the time management variant teachers.
Those of the effective time manager performed significantly better than those of the opposite teacher
(the not so effective time manager –teacher. Thus it could be inferred the former facilitates a better
teaching – learning interaction and the resultant student achievement. The result conform to the
findings of the studies by some scholars and researchers that if the time available for teaching is well
managed students achieve substantially in learning (Ogunsanya & Agu, 1990; Blanchard and Lorber,
1985; Whiter, 1998 and Onuka, 2006). Therefore teachers need to be trained and encouraged to
manage the available teaching better for a better teaching – learning interaction and the concomitant
student achievement as well as enhanced expected learning outcomes as well as confirms the position
of Mokuolu (2007) that proper use of time is an factor in the level of achievement in any human

Conclusion and Recommendations

The investigation has clearly shown that effective classroom interaction or effective teaching-learning
process is no doubt a product of effective time-matched-task forecast, proper time allocation coupled
with planning your subject topic effectively and organizing and implementing your work (teaching-
learning) schedule within a time-frame effectively. To manage teaching-learning time effectively is to
have done your work-plan well ahead of teaching-learning time, do mock practice, master the subject
matter, distribute the components of the subject well and assign to each task and an appropriate time
schedule for its execution. This entails systematic planning, practice and mastery of the subject matter
so that you know exactly what amount of time can be allocated to each step and each item that makes
for effective classroom interaction. In conclusion, it should be noted that there cannot be effective
teaching-learning time management without effective planning, budgeting, organizing and
implementation as well as practices to ensure that plans are executable and are appropriately executed.

Arising from the findings, discussion and conclusion of this study the following recommendations are
hereby made for consideration by the relevant authorities.
• The stakeholders in education should come to discuss and implement the strategy for
effective teaching time management in the Nigerian schools.
• All proprietors (government and private individuals) should review the conditions of
service for teachers, professionalise teaching to give impetus to review their attitude to
work and thus make them devote more time to their teaching work.
• Teachers and indeed all Nigerians must be reoriented in value system so that money will
not take premium over commitment though their remuneration needs to be reviewed and
• Attendance at social functions must be reduced to the barest minimum by the teachers and
every Nigerian citizen, to create more time for planning and implementing work tasks
efficiently and effectively, which is what time management and thus increase learning in the
Nigerian school system.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

• Time management experts should be employed and/or contracted to mount training

programmes on time management for teachers nationwide.
• The various syllabi be reviewed so as to make their contents match the available for
effective teaching and learning interaction in the Nigerian school system.

[1] Blanchand, K and Lorber, R (1985): Putting the one minute manager to work. New York
Berkley Books.
[2] Drucker, P (1967): The effective executive. Great Britain: Pan Books, Heinemann. Easrterby-
Smith: Evaluating management development, training and education. 2nd Edition, Cambridge
[3] Ejiogu, A (2004): Quality assurance in education through strategic planning. A paper presented
at the 1st National Conference of the Institute of Education, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-
Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria Jan. 12-15, 2004.
[4] Mokuolu, Gbenga (2007). Time management in Adebayo, S. & Adebayo, F. (eds.) The World
Changers. A Newsletter of the Kingdom Project Ilorin (January-March, 2007). 7-8.
[5] Ogunsanya, M.O. and Agu, A.O. (1990): Time management by principals. In African Journal
of Educational Management 4 (1 & 2) pp. 135 – 139.
[6] Onuka, Adams (2004): Management manpower development: A vehicle for National
Development. Ibadan Programme on Ethnic and Federal Studies (PEFS) University of Ibadan
Monograph series No 9.
[7] Onuka, A.O.U. (2006). Time management for effective teaching and learning – A Lecture
presented at the Lord’s Kiddies College, Oyo, during their 2006 graduation and prize giving
Day on July 24, 2006.
[8] The Holy Bible (The One Year Bible – The Living Bible Version) (1985). Eastbourne: Tjadale
House Bible Ltd.
[9] White (1998): The Effective Pastor: The key thing a minister must learn to do. Kaduna,
Nigeria: Evangel Publishers Ltd.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Effects of Professional and Non-Professional Teachers on

Students’ Achievement in English Language

Foluso O. Okebukola
Department of Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education
Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos-Nigeria
E-mail: fokebs@yahoo.com

This study assessed the influence of moderator variables in the choice of teaching as a
profession and examined the effects of professional and non-professional teachers on
students’ achievement in English Language. Data were gathered using questionnaire and an
achievement test. A pre-test – posttest control group design was used for the quasi
experiment. Data were analyzed using frequency counts and t-tests. The main effect due to
professionalism was significant in favour of the experimental group. The implications for
teacher education and pedagogy were drawn.

Education is fundamental to, and a pre-eminent force in national development. Every society desires
schools, continuity and reproduction; teachers conduct and convey these. Hence teachers are
conventionally placed at the center – stage of the pedagogical enterprise.
Teaching as a term has been variously conceptualized and defined. According to Schelfer
(1985) teaching is both an activity and a status. It refers to what teachers actually do at work within
educational institutions but may also refer to their membership of an occupational group.
As an activity teaching is aimed at the achievement of learning and practised in such a manner
as to respect the students’ intellectual integrity and capacity for independent judgement (Schelfer,
1985). Teaching according to Okebukola and Ogunbiyi (2002) is an activity consisting of verbal
interaction between the learners and their teacher as he/she aims at influencing the behaviour of the
learners. Schein (1975) in a similar vein defined teaching as an arrangement of contingencies of
reinforcement under which behaviour changes.
Simply put, teaching is the ability to make things known, to impart skills or transfer
instructions; as a process, it involves solving learners’ problems.
It is an open secret that the teaching profession in Nigeria is plagued by the employment of
non-professional teachers. Many people have expressed dismay and condemned this development
Ajayi (1985) noted that one third of the practicing teachers are people that have never undergone any
course in education. According to Olaseinde (1992) the advent of this unqualified and untrained
teachers in large numbers have caused great depression to the profession to the extent that most parents
have lost confidence in the ability of the profession to perform its normal function.
This study assessed the influence of moderator variables by examining the effects of
professional and non-professional teachers on students’ achievement in English language. The outcome
will serve as a litmus test of their competence and efficiency in promoting learning.
It will also help to validate or otherwise the claim that non-professional teachers constitute a
bane to the teaching profession and a clog on the wheel of teaching and learning. This will provide the
needed information for stakeholders in education especially government towards taking appropriate

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Research Questions
The research questions raised in this study are:
(1) What influenced the choice of teaching as a career?
(2) Was effect of professionalism significant on students’ achievement?

The subjects for the study consisted of 20 professional, 20 non-professional teachers, and 156 JS1
students randomly selected from four secondary schools in Lagos State. The experimental group had
75 students while the control group had 81 students.

Design and Procedure

The study is both quasi – experimental and descriptive. A questionnaire was administered to assess the
influence of moderator variables on the teachers’ choice of teaching as a career. A pretest – posttest
control group was used for the quasi – experiment. The control group received instruction from the
non-professional teacher while the experimental was taught by the professional. Both groups received
instruction on the grammatical structure – adverbs for two weeks. Both groups were pre and post tested
using a 20 – item multiple choice achievement test selected for the study.

The main research instruments used for data collection were a researcher constructed questionnaire and
English achievement test (EAT). The questionnaire was divided into two sections (A and B), section A
deals with demographic data while section B contains some identified factors which could affect the
choice of teaching as a career. The factors were scored on a 5 point Likert scale of strongly agree (SA),
agree (A), undecided (U), strongly disagree (SD), and disagree (DS).
The English Achievement Test (EAT) consisted of 20 multiple-choice items based on the use of
adverbs. The test served as pre and posttests. The reliability of the instruments was established at 0.67
and 0.78 respectively using the crombach alpha statistical method.

Data Analysis
The analysis of data gathered through the questionnaire was done by computing the responses using
frequency counts and percentages. While the data on the achievement test was computed by
determining the mean scores and standard deviation. The differences between pairs of mean scores
were assessed by the use of t-test.

The results of the study are hereby presented in the order of the research questions guiding its conduct.

Research Question 1
What influenced the choice of teaching as a career? Frequency and percentages measure influence of
moderator variables in the choice of teaching as a career. The results are presented in Table 1.0

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 1.0: Table showing the influence of moderator variables on the choice of teaching as a career.

Item Statement Groups Frequency Percentage

Professional 20 100
1 To earn a living
Non professional 20 100
Professional 14 70
2 Self interest
Non professional 6 30
Professional 4 20
3 Poor family background
Non professional 5 25
Professional 3 15
4 Parent/guardian/spouse initiation and wish
Non professional 2 10
Professional 4 20
5 Lack of employment
Non professional 18 90
Professional 17 85
6 Urge to demonstrate skill and help society (talent)
Non professional 5 25
Professional 13 65
7 Grade at school
Non professional 6 30
Professional 2 10
8 Religious belief
Non professional 1 5

The results revealed that both groups of teachers got into the profession primarily as a means of
livelihood (100%). While a remarkable percentage of professional ones declared interest in their job,
the engagement of non-professionals in teaching is largely due to lack of employment (90%). The wish
of parents, guardians and spouse does not significantly influence the choice of teaching as a career as
shown in the table.
A large percentage (85%) of the trained teachers see themselves as talented in pedagogy hence
their choice of teaching as a career. However only 25% of the untrained ones considered themselves
talented. In other words they doubted their own competence in teaching.
The professional teachers’ grade at school influenced their choice of teaching as a career, (65%)
while the non-professional teachers’ grades had no influence on their choice (30%). The results also
showed that poor family background, and religious belief do not significantly influence people’s choice
of teaching as a career.

Research Question 2
Was effect of professionalism significant on students’ achievement?
The mean of the professional teacher (PT) instructed group exceeded the mean of the control
group in standard deviation units. Mean effect sizes associated with instruction by professional and
non-professional teachers are reported in Table 2.0.

Table 2.0: Table showing the Effects of instruction by professional and non-professional teachers.

T. cal T-table value at

Groups N X SD DF
value 0.05
Student taught by professional teachers (Experimental) 75 55.4 11.8 154 36.27 1.96
Students taught by non-professional 81 21.39 12.14

From table 2.0, it is apparent that instruction by professional teachers was effective in
improving students’ achievement in English language (means 55.4 and 21.39).

The findings of this study reveal that students taught by professional teachers performed better than
those taught by non-professional teachers and that the latter are better equipped and more suitable for

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

the job. This is consistent with research findings in this area of study. For instance Gurick (1990) noted
that professional teachers exhibit effective, task oriented and business like demeanour (Gurick 1990).
Akomolafe (2004) also noted that professional teachers are able to maintain a sense of purpose
through out the teaching – learning process, they are able to carefully plan instruction, select
appropriate teaching and, logically follow plan of teaching to the extent that the learners could
maximally benefit from instruction. On the other hand, non-professional teachers due to lack of
requisite knowledge may not be able to effectively plan and carry out teaching using appropriate
channels and methods.

Conclusion and Recommendation

This study has validated the belief that professional teachers are effective and that their students are
more able to perform well in examinations. Similarly it is clear that by virtue of their training they
display high interest and knowledge in pedagogy. Thus, they are bound to be devoted to their job. On
the other hand, the non-professional teachers are in – experienced and less knowledgeable in pedagogy.
Although they may possess the knowledge of content, it should be realized that the business of the
classroom is learning and any teacher who fails to achieve this cannot be said to be successful. An
effective teacher emphasizes and focuses classroom activities on tasks that are most likely to help
students’ learn. He directs his own behaviour and his students’ behaviour toward successful learning
Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are advanced.
• Non-professional teachers should be banned from the classrooms. Those who are already in
the school system should be made to enroll for induction or part time course in education.
• In order to keep abreast of research findings, teachers should compulsorily belong to
professional associations like Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) Reading
Association of Nigeria (RAN) etc.
• Professional teachers should be encouraged to engage in the writing of relevant textbooks
for students.
• All Governments should recognize teaching as a profession and give it equal treatment like
other professional bodies.

[1] Aderounmu, A. (1984). Fundamentals of Nigerian Education. Lagos: Nigeria Executive
[2] Ajayi, O. (1985). Teachers’ Perception of the Curriculum and Instruction. Theory and
Practice. Port Harcourt, Nigeria: PAM UNIQUE publishers.
[3] Akomolafe, C. (2004). School Administration in Nigeria. Theory and Practice. Petoa
Educational publishers.
[4] Gurick, S. (1990). Vision and Values in Managing Education. London: David fuston.
[5] Hoyle, E. & John, P. (1995). Professional Knowledge and Professional Practice. New York:
[6] Okebukola, F.O. & Ogunbiyi, O. (2002). Guide to Curriculum Development. Babs Olatunji.
[7] Olaseinde, O.A. (1992). Motivating the teaching profession in Nigeria. A paper presented at a
guidance and counseling workshop for teachers and principals. NumaA, Guyuk and Shelleg
L.G.A. of Adamawa State.
[8] Schein, E. (1975). Organisation Psychology. Englewood clifts. New Jersery: prentice Hall.
[9] Schelfer, F. (1985). The Psychology and Teaching of Reading. Potts: George Allen and Unwin.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Inservice Mathematics Teachers’ Beliefs about

Mathematics Teaching and Learning

M. K. Akinsola
Department of Primary Education, (Mathematics and Science Education Unit)
Faculty of Education, University of Botswana, P/Bag 00702 Gaborone, Botswana
E-mail: akinsolamk@mopipi.ub.bw
Tel: +267 3554173; +26772747880; Fax: +267 3185096

This study examined the in-service elementary school teaches beliefs about teaching and
learning mathematics as it related to been a good mathematics learner. The result indicated
that teachers belief that feelings about school and mathematics, and teachers assessment
practices are related to been a good mathematics learner. Female mathematics teachers are
of the opinion that student expectation of teacher/lecturer do affect been a good
mathematics learner.

Keywords: In-service teachers; beliefs about mathematics

As a result of the variety of perspectives and discipline within which beliefs have been studied, it is not
surprising that the field abounds with subtly different definitions and classification of beliefs (Leder,
Peakones and Torner, 2002).They traced the beginning of the research of beliefs and belief systems to
the 20th century. According to Bar-Tal (1993), the study of beliefs can be classified into four areas:
Acquisition, change structure of beliefs, effects of beliefs, and contents of beliefs.
Beliefs have been viewed by social psychologists as units of cognition. They Constitutes the
totality of an individual knowledge, including what people consider as facts, opinions, hypotheses as
well as faith (Bar-Tal, 1993).According to Bar-Tal (1990), beliefs can be differentiated on the basis in
which they formed. descriptive beliefs are formed on the basis of direct experience. Inferential beliefs
are based on rules of logic that allow inference and Informational beliefs are formed on the basis of
information provided by outside source (p.12).
Krech and Crutehfield (1948) had long proposed the following seven characteristics to describe
beliefs: These are kind, content, precision, specificity, strength, importance and variability. To Opt,
Eynde and Verschaffel (2002) belief may be defined as the implicitly or explicitly help conceptions,
understanding, premises, propositions, expectations that subjects hold to be true. These beliefs
according to them are organized in complex belief systems which are characterized by cluster,
structure, quasi-logicalness and psychological centrality.
Mathematics teachers, whether prospective or in-service, hold many beliefs about the nature of
teaching and learning mathematics and these beliefs interact in a wholesome manner to affect the ways
they perform their duties, as teachers of mathematics. Teachers’ beliefs gratefully influence their
classroom practices. The beliefs teachers themselves have about teaching and learning and the nature
of the expectations they hold for students also exert a powerful influence (Raffim, Jamark, 1993).
The most significant contributions of research in education suggest that teachers’ beliefs relate
to their classroom practice (Thompson, 1992). It has also become an accepted idea that teachers’
beliefs play an important role in shaping teachers’ characteristics patterns of instructional behaviour
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

(Thompson, 1992). Ernest (1989), discussing the finding of studies in mathematics teachers’ beliefs,
noted among others keys elements that influence the practice of mathematics teaching, the following
three are considered notable.
(1) the teacher’s mental contents or schemas, particularly the system of beliefs concerning
mathematics and its teaching and learning.
(2) the social context of the teaching situation particularly the constraints and opportunities it
provides, and
(3) the teachers’ level of thought processes, and reflections He further describes the key
beliefs component as the teachers view or concept of the nature of mathematics.
* View or conception of the nature of mathematics
* Model of view of the nature of mathematics teaching
* Model or view of the process/ learners mathematics.
According to Brophy and Good (1974) cited by Fang (1996), a better understanding of
teachers’ belief system or conceptual base will significantly contribute to enhance educational
effectiveness. To understand teachers from teachers’ perspectives, we have to understand the beliefs
with which they define their work (Nesspor, 1987, p.2231). The view is further supported by Underhill
(1998) when he stressed the importance of assessing teachers beliefs and to knowing how this affect
them as a basis of how we can improve their delivery of mathematics instruction. Pajares (1992)
pointed out that few would argue that the beliefs teachers had, influence their perceptions and
judgment, which, in turn, affect their behaviour in the classroom setting.
In teaching, teachers weave together many different kinds of knowledge and beliefs; of students
of how students learn, of the teacher’s role, of pedagogy, and of the subject they teach. In other word,
teachers’ decision making and behaviour are structured by their attitudes, beliefs and expectations as a
subject matter, themselves as mathematics instructors, and their students as learners.
Ernest (1998) has noted that knowledge is important but its not alone and not enough to account
fore the differences between mathematics teachers in the ways they carried out their professional
assignment. Two teachers to him can have similar knowledge, but may teach mathematics in different
ways as a result of their beliefs towards didactic approach. For this reason, he emphasizes emphasis on
the role of beliefs in teaching mathematics.
Vistro-Yu (2002) declared that high school mathematics teachers hold certain beliefs and view
about mathematics, which have both desirable consequences in the way they teach in the classroom,
and that these beliefs cannot be ignored because it the impact they have on teachers classroom

Problem of the Study

Prospective elementary teachers do not come to teacher education feeling unprepared for teaching.
From their years as pupils in elementary and secondary schools they bring with them, many ideas
about teaching, learning, subject matter, and students (Keiman-Nemsa, McDiarmid, Melmick, and
Parker, 1987). According to them, pre-service teachers learning during teacher preparation is an
interaction between the conceptions they bring and the knowledge and experiences they encounter and
unless teachers educators help their students surface and examine initial beliefs and assumptions these
taken –for-granted ideas may distort the lessons taught and learned during teachers preparation. The
foregoing may not be limited only to the pre-service teachers but equally applicable to in-service
teachers who may have a cloud of uncertainty towards the teaching of their subject matter. So the more
we come to know about teachers (both pre-service and in-service experiences, how their practice in the
classroom, develops and the factors that impinge upon this development, the more we will be able to
construct models or theories of professional growth that will be able to shape the construction of future
courses inform the training and induction of teachers and serve as guide for action for mathematics

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

teacher, educator, dealing apparently with the complex task of helping teachers to learn and improve on
the practice of teaching (Calderheads and Shorrock, 1997).

The designed employed in the study was an ex-post facto type. The researcher does not have a direct
control of both the independent and dependant variables, because their manifestations have already
occurred or because they are inherently not manipulable.

The study sample were 61 male and 37 female mathematics specialist teachers who are undergoing
inservice degree course at a university in Nigeria.

The Indiana Mathematics Beliefs Scale (IMBS) (from Kloosterman, and Stage, 1992) was used (with
minor changes) to tap the teachers beliefs concerning varied aspects of mathematics learning. The total
reliability measure of the scale using Cronbach alpha coefficient is r= 0.89. The second instrument
used, was an 10 items questionnaire develop and validated by the researcher to measure “good
mathematics learner”

The study explores the relationship of “good mathematics learner” with teachers’ beliefs in
mathematics. Correlation between being a good mathematics learner and the variables of beliefs are
given in Tables I and II for males and females respectively.
Tables I show that there is a positive correlation between being a good mathematics learner and
feeling about schools (.31) and assessments practices (.277). The results imply that male mathematics
teachers feel that what goes on in the school do affect the learning of mathematics. More over the
assessment practices of teachers/lectures do affects the mathematics learning.

Table 1: Showing Corrections, Regression Coefficient and F-Ratio in Male (N=61)

s/n variables Regression Co-efficient R2 F r

1 Feeling About School and Maths .311 .097 6.434* .311**
2 Efforts in Mathematics 0.21 .000 .021(N.S) 0.21
3 Non School Influence on Motivation .066 .004 .260(N.S) .060
4 Natural Ability in Maths -.130 .017 1.026 -.130
5 Self-Confidence in Maths -.011 .000 .007 -.011
6 Goal Orientation on and Efforts -0.097 .009 .575 -.097
7 Study Habit in Maths .133 .018 1.074 -.133
8 Maths Content .118 .014 .845 .118
9 Assessment of Practices .277 .077 4.977** .277**
10 Students Expectation of Lecturers .151 .023 1.408 .151
F *P<.01 **P<.05
r *P<.01 **P<.05

Table 2 shows the correlation for females. A perusal of the results indicates that view a
mathematics learners correlate partially and significantly with study habit and mathematics (.339) and
assessment practices (.327).

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 2: Showing Correlations, Regression Coefficients and F-Ratio in Female (N=37)

S/N Variables Regression Coefficient R2 F r

1 Feeling about School and Maths 1.63 .027 .981 .163
2 Efforts in Maths -.099 .010 .355 .099
3 Non School Influence on motivation -.082 .007 .244 .080
4 Natural Ability in Maths .072 .005 .190 -.072
5 Self-Confidence in Maths -.209 .044 1.650 -.209
6 Goal orientation on and effort .028 .001 .028 .028
7 Study Habit in Maths .339 .115 4.678** .399**
8 Maths Contents .066 .000 .001 .006
9 Assessment of Practices .327 .107 4.303** .327**
10 Students Expectation of lecturers .302 .091 4.603** .302
F **P<0.1 **P<.05, r *P<0.1 **P<

The results show both male and female in-service teachers view that the nature of assessment
practices in the (university) is a critical factors that really affect them as learners of mathematics.
A Stepwise multiple regression was performed to determine the amount of variance in the
dependent variable (a good mathematics learners) that could be accounted for by the independent
variables(feeling about school and mathematics, efforts in math non-school influence on motivation,
natural ability in math, self-confidence in math, goal orientation and efforts, study habits in math,
maths content, student expectation of lecturers) and the impact of each independent variables in the
prediction of dependent variable (view as a mathematics learners).
Results of the regression analysis indicate that for both male and female 22% of the variance is
explained by the selected variables. The low variance could be because of this variability not being as
significant as assumed to be. Moreover, there could be some other more important variables which
could have contributed towards been a good mathematics learner. Variables which are significantly
contributed towards been a good mathematics learner for male are, feeling about school and
mathematics (F= 6.34, P, <00.1.051 and assessment practices, P<0.05) while those that contributed to
been a good mathematics learners of female are study habit (F=4.678, P<0.05, assessment practices
(F=4.303, P<.05, and student expectations of lecturers (F=4.1003, P<.05).

The correlation obtain from both female and male concerning feeling about school and assessment may
be interpreted to mean that the teacher are of the view that the totality of what goes on in a school will
affect the learning of mathematics and the assessment procedures employed do affect students ways of
learning mathematics.
The results also clearly indicate that for female the student expectation from their lecturer is
crucial for one to be good mathematics learners.
The implication of this is that the role of the mathematics lecturer/teacher is a factor that does
affect the way and manner they learn mathematics. A good school environment will be a better place
for mathematics learner. The issue of assessment of the curriculum should not be taken lightly.
Assessment practices may enhance or impede mathematics learner and also gender issues must be
taken into consideration by mathematics teachers.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Bar-Tal, D. (1990).Group beliefs. A conception for analyzing group structure, processes, and
behaviour. New York: Springer-Verlag.
[2] Bar-Tal, D. (1993). Patriotism as fundamental beliefs of group members. Politics and
Individual. 3, 45-62
[3] Brophy, J.&Good,T.(1974).Teacher- student relationships. Causes and consequences. New
York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
[4] Calderhaed, J. & Shorrock (1997). Understanding Teacher Education. London, Falmer Press.
[5] Earnest, P.(1989).The Impact of Belief in the Teaching of Mathematics. In P.Earnest, Ed,
Mathematics Teachers: the state of the Art, London; Falmer Press, 249-254.
[6] Fang Z. (1996).A review of research on teachers’ belief and practices. Education Research,
[7] Fieman-Nemsa, S..;McDiarmid, G.W.;Melnick, S.L.& Parker, M.(1987).Paper presented at the
Mathematics meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Washington, D.C.
[8] Kloosterman, P. and Stage, F.K. (1992. Measuring beliefs about mathematical problem solving.
School Science and Mathematics, 92, 109-115.
[9] Krech, D.; & Cructchfield, R.S. (1948).Theory and problems of social psychology. New York.
McGraw -Hill.
[10] Leder, G.C.; Pehkonen, E.;& Torner, C.(2002).Setting the scene: In Leder, G.G, Pehkonan, E
and Torner, G.(Eds). Beliefs: A Hidden Variable in Mathematics Education. Mathematics
Education Library 31, Kluwer Academy Publishers London. Pg.1-10.
[11] Nespor, J. (1987).The role of belief in the practice of teachers. Journal of Curriculum Study
19(4), 317-328.
[12] Opt, T.; Eynde, P.; Decorte, E.; Verschaffel, L. (2004).Framing students Mathematics in
Related Belief. In Leder, C.G; Penconan, E& Torner, E. (Eds).Behaviour, a Hidden Variable in
Mathematics Education. Mathematics Education Library 13, Kluwer Academy Press. Pg 13-37.
[13] Pajares, S. (1992).Teachers belief and educational research: Cleaning up a mess construct:
Review of Education Research 31, 307-332.
[14] Raffim, Jamark, (1993).Winners without Losers: Structure and strategies for increasing student
motivation to necessary student motivation to learn. Boston Ally and Bacon.
[15] Thompson, A.G.(1992).Teachers’ Beliefs and conceptions: A Synthesis of the Research in
Handbook of Research in mathematics teacher and Learning. D.A. Grouws, (Eds.; Macmillan,
New York, pp127-46.
[16] Underhill, R.G. (1998). Mathematics learners’ beliefs: A review. Focus on Learning. Problems
in Mathematics. 10 (1), 55-69.
[17] Vignette, A. (1986).Teachers’ Cognitive Activities In B. Christiansea, A.G. Howson,
R.M.,Otte, (Eds), Perspective on Mathematics Education. D. Reidel Publishing Company, The

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Dimensions of Hospital Service Quality in Nigeria

O.V. Mejabi
Management Information Systems (MIS) Unit
University of Ilorin, P M B 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria
E-mail: ovmejabi@yahoo.com

J.O. Olujide
Department of Business Administration
University of Ilorin, P M B 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria
E-mail: olujack52@yahoo.co.uk

Little or nothing is known of service quality from the customer’s perspective as it pertains
to hospital management in Nigeria, and transparent, objective and comparable
measurements of it, are absent. The objective of the study was to provide insight into the
nature and characteristics of consumer focused service quality, as it pertains to the Nigerian
hospital setting, through identifying a workable measurement scale and determining the
underlying service quality dimensions. Teaching hospitals were used as the focal point,
because of their complex structure and service mix that would allow for downward
application of the study methodology and recommendations. The instruments had a battery
of 39 consumer focused service quality attributes on which respondents rated the hospital
on importance and performance. The dimensions were confirmed through factor analysis of
importance data, performance data and computed quality data. The results indicated that
eight dimensions - resource availability, quality of care, condition of clinic/ward, condition
of facility, quality of food, attitude of doctors and nurses, attitude of non-medical staff and
waiting time for service, best described the service quality phenomena, producing
Cronbach-alpha reliability coefficients of 0.74 to 0.94.

Keywords: service quality, service quality dimensions, hospital service quality, consumer
focus, factor analysis, Nigeria.

In both private and public health facilities in Nigeria, the consumers’ interest in the service delivery
process is rarely considered. Usually, the processes are set up with the sole convenience of the
operators. For example, it is common for health facilities to give appointments to all patients for a
given clinic day for 7 a.m., despite the fact that the doctors would not arrive until 9 a.m. and patients
would be seen one at a time, leading to unnecessarily long waiting times for patients. In addition,
services that used to be free have long been replaced by payment for services rendered or “payment
before service” in many health facilities. Also, fees charged have been increased quite frequently
without being matched by appreciable improvements to the service package offered in most cases.
These problems have led to under-utilization or over-utilization of some facilities by consumers, based
on perceived service quality. All these lead to a situation where potential consumers delay to seek care
for fear of confronting such unsatisfactory conditions.
In The World Health Report 2000, World Health Organisation (WHO) reveals that the poor
generally emerge as receiving the worst levels of responsiveness, being treated with less respect for
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

their dignity, given less choice of service providers and offered lower quality amenities (WHO, 2000).
Nigeria is no exception to this finding.
Kenagy, Berwick, and Shore (1999) draw the following two conclusions: “First, if high-quality
service had a greater presence in our practices and institutions, it would improve clinical outcomes and
patient and physician satisfaction while reducing cost, and it would create competitive advantage for
those who are expert in its application. Second, many other industries in the service sector have taken
service quality to a high level, their techniques are transferable to health care, and physicians caring for
patients can learn from them” (p. 661).
Kutzin (1994) proposes that as health ministries change their functions from service delivery to
monitoring and regulation, the need for objective measurements of the performance of staff, systems,
and contractors, increases. Thus, quantitative and qualitative measurements of service outputs are
needed to assess performance.
In Nigeria, a national study to determine the availability and quality of essential obstetric care
(EOC), revealed low quality and availability of EOC services, with private facilities doing better than
the public institutions (Fatusi and Ijadunola, 2003). There is no doubt that there is a shortfall in the
delivery process of health care services in Nigeria. In a study of Primary Health Care in Nigeria, the
situation analysis assessment revealed low quality care (Olumide, Obianu and Mako, 2000). This was
confirmed by Mbanefo and Soyibo (1992:13), who stated that the Nigerian health care delivery system
“tends to be be-devilled with waiting problems, irrespective of whether one is reporting for the first
(illness) episode or not".
Depending on providers’ perspectives on quality may be misleading, as was identified in a
study in India where most of the 54 auxiliary nurse midwives interviewed could not define quality
services or suggest service improvements, and medical officers focused mainly on inadequacies in the
clinic infrastructure and on clinic equipment, supplies, and medicines (Lantis, Green and Joyce, 2002).
The problem is therefore that while little or nothing is known of consumer focused service
quality as it pertains to hospital management in Nigeria and transparent, objective and comparable
measurements of it are absent, hospital service delivery cannot be oriented towards being more
consumer focused in its approach within the constraints of its total resources.
The objective of the study was therefore to provide insight as to the nature and characteristics
of consumer focused service quality, as it pertains to the Nigerian hospital setting through identifying a
workable measurement scale and determining the underlying service quality dimensions.

Literature Review
Dimensionality of Service Quality
Researchers are in agreement that service quality is a complex multidimensional concept composed of
several dimensions which are to some extent inter-related. These dimensions involve both the process
of procuring the service as well as the outcome (Devlin and Dong, 1994). The dimensions along which
consumers evaluate service quality is sometimes divided into two groups – the outcome dimension
(which focuses on the reliable delivery of the core service) and the process dimension (which focuses
on how the core service is delivered). According to Schiffman and Kanuk (1998), and Davidow and
Uttal (1990), the process dimension offers the service provider a significant opportunity to exceed
customer expectations.
Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithaml (1991a:41) identify five dimensions of service as follows:
1. Reliability: The ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.
2. Responsiviness: The willingness to help customers and to provide prompt service.
3. Assurance: The knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to convey trust and
4. Empathy: The provision of caring, individualized attention to customers.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

5. Tangibles: The appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication

On the other hand, Mowen (1995:513-514) criticizes the following eight dimensions proposed
for product quality by Garvin as being best applied to evaluations of goods quality alone –
1. Performanece: Performance on primary operating characteristics.
2. Features: The number of bells and whistles that supplement primary characteristics.
3. Reliability: Probability of failing or malfunctioning.
4. Durability: The life of the product.
5. Serviceability: Ease of repair, and the speed, courtesy, and timeliness of personnel.
6. Aesthetics: How the product looks, feels and sounds.
7. Conformance to specifications: Degree to which the product meets production benchmarks.
8. Perceived Quality: A catchall category that includes the effects of brand image and other
intangible factors that influence customers’ perceptions of quality.
However, Mowen (1995) is of the view that neither the five dimensions of Parasuraman’s
research team nor Garvin’s eight dimensions of product quality are adequate and proposes the
following eight dimensions as being more appropriate and capable of taking care of both service
quality and goods quality -
1. Performanece: The absolute level of performance of the good or service on the key
attributes identified by customers.
2. Number of attributes: The number of features/attributes offered.
3. Courtesy: The friendliness and empathy shown by people delivering the service or good.
4. Reliability: The consistency of the performance of the good or service.
5. Durability: The product’s life span and general sturdiness.
6. Timeliness: The speed with which the product is received or repaired; the speed with which
the desired information is provided or service is received.
7. Aesthetics: The physical appearance of the good; the attractiveness of the presentation of
the service; the pleasantness of the atmosphere in which the service or product is received.
8. Brand Equity: The additional positive or negative impact on perceived quality that knowing
the brand name has on the evaluation of perceived quality.
A hierarchical approach has been suggested by Brady and Cronin (2001) which concentrates
the primary dimensions into 1. interaction quality, 2. physical environment quality and 3. Outcome
quality, with each of these primary dimensions having sub-dimensions, and each sub-dimension having
a reliability item, a responsiveness item and an empathy item.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizatons (JCAHO) in the United
States of America identifies nine quality dimensions for hospitals. They are: 1.Efficacy,
2.Appropriateness, 3.Efficiency, 4.Respect and Caring, 5.Safety, 6.Continuity, 7.Effectiveness,
8.Timeliness, 9.Availability. Sower et al. (2001) selected these nine JCAHO dimensions as the
theoretical framework of hospital service quality for their study which supported exclusion of
‘efficacy’ as a dimension, since efficacy of care is generally determined by using measures such as
mortality and complications. Sower et al. explain that while the patient may be able to form an opinion
about efficacy based on obvious outcomes, he or she generally lacks the medical knowledge and
training to meaningfully assess whether outcomes were consistent with professional expectations for
the condition.
Attkisson, Roberts and Pascoe in the evaluation ranking scale they developed to obtain a
measure of patient satisfaction for evaluating health care delivery within practices, and comparing
performance between practices, grouped the attributes considered under the dimensions shown below
(Wilkin, Hallam and Doggett, 1992:245):
1. Clinic location and appointments: Location, Parking, Hours of operation; Obtaining

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

2. Clinic building, offices, and waiting time: Amount of waiting time; Appearance of building,
offices, and waiting areas.
3. Clinic assistants and helpers: Courtesy and helpfulness of: Telephone operators;
Receptionists; Aides and volunteers.
4. Nurses and doctors: Skillfulness; Friendliness; Clarity of information/advice;
Thoroughness; Amount of time spent.
5. Health services offered: Received the services I wanted; Saw the nurse or doctor I wanted.
6. Service results: Success of services; Speed of results; Value of services; Usefulness of
Mowen (1995:506) proposes that the attributes of a hospital include the competence of its
physicians and nursing staff, the appearance of the physical facilities, the quality of the food, and the
consideration and treatment of patients, each of which would impact on the use experience of a patient.
In a study on the choice of obstetric care in Cebu, Philippines, the following measures of
quality were used – the availability of medical supplies - number of drugs available to treat diarrhea),
practitioner training (doctor or midwife), service availability, facility size, and waiting time. In another
study, the quality of health care in Ghana was measured in terms of infrastructure (electricity and
running water); personnel (number of doctors and nurses); basic adult and child health services;
including the availability of a laboratory and the ability to vaccinate children and to provide pre-natal,
postnatal, and child-monitoring clinical services; and the availability of essential drugs (ampicillin,
chloroquine, paracetamol) and an operating room. In Ogun State, Nigeria, several quality variables
were reported to have affected the use of public health clinics. These variables included operational
costs per capital, the physical condition of the facility, the availability of drugs, and the number of
functioning x-ray machines and laboratories. The number of support personnel, nurses, and doctors per
capita did not have a significant effect. (Alderman and Lavy, 1996)
Clearly, not all the attributes and dimensions are transferable, especially between countries,
where the cultural setting and service delivery practices differ.

Measuring Service Quality

To effectively manage service quality, it has to be measured and there are several ways in which this
has been achieved.
The SERVQUAL scale, proposed by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1985), was designed to
measure the gap between customers expectations of service and their perceptions of the actual service
delivered, based upon the following five dimensions: tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance,
and empathy. Since its development, the SERVQUAL scale has been used in numerous studies, though
not all of its empirical findings correspond precisely to the five dimensions that the scale is designed to
measure. Research by Devlin and Dong (1994) and others confirm that these five key elements should
be incorporated into the model of how customers view a service organisation.
Sower et al. (2001) empirically sought to confirm the nine dimensions in the JCAHO scale
which incorporated the SERVQUAL five dimensions, and they came up with the “KQCAH” scale, for
the determination of service quality of hospitals in the United States of America.
Cronin and Taylor (1994) identified another scale, based on performance measures of service
quality, known as SERVPERF. This scale is based on the consumer’s perception of service
performance. They argue that there are problems in conceptualizing service quality as a “difference”
score. The SERVPERF scale results have been used in a number of ways including plotting the
summated overall service quality score relative to time and specific consumer subgroups (e.g.,
demographic segments).
Another way researchers have measured service quality has been by combining the
performance of the service with the importance of the service as rated by customers (Martilla and
James, 1977; Cronin and Taylor, 1994; Kotler, 1997; 2001; 2002; Whynes and Reed, 1994, 1995;
DuVernois, 2001; Kennedy and Kennedy, 1987; Oh, 2001; Brandt, 2000). This combination, which
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

has been applied to marketing research and health care service assessment, is known as Impotance-
Performance (IP) analysis. According to Martilla and James (1977), IP analysis is used to rate the
various attributes or elements of the service bundle and to identify what actions are required. It has
been applied to health care service assessment in various ways. For example, Hawes and Rao (1985)
applied the IP analysis technique to develop health care service marketing strategies, while Kennedy
and Kennedy (1987) and DuVernois (2001) applied the IP analysis technique to the assessment of
student satisfaction with a University Health Service. Whynes and Reed (1994) applied it on a study of
hospitals in the Trent region of Britain, in an attempt to provide information on that which practitioners
deemed important with respect to quality, and on how purchasers assessed the quality of their current
service performance. The conventional approach to IP analysis, has been criticized by Brandt (2000)
and improvements have been suggested by Oh (2001) and Olujide and Mejabi (2007).
Ostrom and Iacobucci (1995) investigated the evaluation of services by consumers in terms of
service attributes that should have an impact on judgements as well as the nature of the judgements
themselves. Service alternatives that differed in terms of price, level of quality, friendliness of the
service personnel, and the degree of customization of the service were considered. Services also
differed in the type of service industry being evaluated (experience or credence service); the criticality
of the service situation (high or low importance that the service be executed well); and the type of
evaluative judgement asked of the respondent (i.e. ratings of subjects’ anticipated satisfaction, value, or
likelihood of purchase).
Ostrom and Iacobucci report that all service attributes are important to consumers and that their
importance varies with the mediating factors e.g. consumers are price sensitive for less critical
purchase situations, whereas quality is more important for credence services. They suggest that their
findings “allow for a parsimonious theoretical explanation based on risk and the clarification of some
constructs in the area of consumer evaluations”.
For health care services, Alderman and Lavy (1996) propose a measure based on patients
perceptions of quality to provide a tractable approach to explaining the multiple dimensions of quality
in the supply of and demand for health care services. In their approach, objectively measurable
characteristics of health care facilities are linked to household subjective assessment of the probable
outcome. These attributes that are easy to measure serve as proof for those that are unobserved. The
observable service components, which include physical facilities, number of staff members and level
of supervision, availability of essential drugs and equipment, and provision of basic health services, are
highly correlated with quality indexes, thereby allaying concerns to the choice of approaches. Another
concern is that measures of quality are liable to be inaccurate. For example, two measures of staffing in
Cote d'Ivoire was compared - the number of staff members listed in official records, and the number
who were actually present in the 24 hours preceding the interview. It was found that the actual number
of doctors present had a favorable and significant effect on child health; and that the number on the
books was irrelevant.
What types of actions are desired from service quality measurement results have influenced the
type of respondents’ sampled. When carrying out service quality research customers who did not
renew or return have been targeted as results provide more useful evaluation of strengths and
weaknesses than a survey of current contented customers. Another way has been to survey current
customers and group them by their responses. (Wakefield, 2001)
A study focused on a subgroup of consumers – patients and families of patients, who had
recently been hospitalized or who had a life-threatening or chronic illness was carried out because this
group was believed to have a very high interest in what the researchers called clinical quality, and a
significant appetite for additional information – because their study focused on answering the questions
of what information consumers considered in decision-making of choice of service provider, what were
their expectations and how those compared with their experiences (Ebersberger, 2001).
According to Wakefield (2001) attention should be paid to what may seem like minor
deviations from excellence, and action taken immediately to correct major deviations. Kotler

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

(2002:457) suggests that service quality standards should be set appropriately high because though a
98% accuracy standard sounds good, it would result in FedEx losing 64,000 packages a day; 6
misspelled words on each page of a book; 400,000 misfilled prescriptions daily; and unsafe drinking
water 8 days a year.

Teaching hospitals were used as the focal point, because of their complex structure and service mix
that would allow for downward application of the study methodology and recommendations. The data
for this study was collected from the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and the University of
Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin, using six service points at each hospital. The service points
were medicine outpatient clinic, surgery outpatient clinic, medicine female ward, medicine male ward,
surgery female ward and surgery male ward. Since the hospitals belonged to different geo-political
zones of Nigeria (UCH in the south and UITH in the north), were of different generations and
environmental setting, with varied service offerings and clientele of different ethno-religious mix, the
two teaching hospitals were deemed to provide enough contrasts sufficient to examine the service
quality phenomena.
For the purposes of this study, the relevant consumer population was persons utilizing the
different hospital services at the time of administering the research questionnaire. Such persons
included patients receiving care as well as their caretakers. Caretakers are relatives or friends of
patients in the hospital who in the Nigerian hospital setting are intricately involved in the hospital
service delivery process.
For this group of respondents, obtaining a list of all patients or caretakers in the population was
impractical. Thus, probability sampling methods that rely on knowledge of the population size for
determination of sample size and selection of subjects could not be used. Of the non-probability
sampling methods commonly used, quota sampling is thought to result in a sample with the least bias
(Luck and Rubin, 1999), and is one of the most commonly employed non-probability procedures in
marketing research (Green and Tull, 1990). This sampling method was therefore adopted for the
sampling of consumers.
To determine the appropriate quotas for the consumer sample, records of hospital attendance at
both hospitals were obtained from the Health Records department. At UCH, the record available was
the average weekly hospital attendance, while at UITH it was the average daily hospital attendance.
These were extrapolated to obtain estimates of patient attendance over a 3-month period.
Patient – caretaker relationship, as well as male – female proportions, were used as parameters
for assigning the quotas used for sampling. The sample sizes estimated were split equally between
patients and caretakers, based on the assumption that each patient will have one caretaker, although in
reality, some patients will have none, while other patients may have more than one. This was further
split equally between males and females, except in the case of gender specific wards e.g. male or
female surgery ward, where only male or female patients were to be expected. Since the number of
males and females in the Nigerian population are approximately equal, it was assumed that males and
females would also be equally distributed among patients and caretakers.

Determination of Hospital Service Attributes

As advocated by Devlin and Dong (1994) and in line with the consumer-centred study questionnaires
were developed in a manner that would assist respondents to recall and evaluate their service
experiences, by “walking” them through the service encounter. This approach emphasizes customers’
views rather than details of internal processes of the organization. Devlin and Dong were also of the
opinion that since services may not be fresh in customers’ minds, ordering questions along “service

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

script” lines can increase accuracy; and that this benefit outweighs the bias possibly introduced by
question order. They used the term “service script” to describe the path customers take as they enter the
service setting, receive the various services, and exit the service setting. We have adopted this
approach in identifying the attributes relevant in the Nigerian hospital setting.
Thus, the service attributes on which assessment of importance and performance was sought,
were developed based on the activities or actions at the hospitals in Nigeria which have an impact on
the consumer. Observation of the hospital service delivery process revealed the following areas of

(a) service fees

• the amount charged;
• the payment process.
(b) drugs
• availability;
• cost.
(c) clinical care
• promptness of response;
• diagnosis;
• prescription.
(d) infrastructural facilities
• bed space;
• toilets and bathrooms;
• water supply;
• electricity supply.
(e) support services
• cleaning;
• catering;
• laundry.
(f) front-line service workers
• attitude: to patients and visitors; of doctors, nurses, porters, pharmacy staff,
technologists, etc.
(g) service level
• waiting time to be served;
• turn around time for tests.
(h) environment
• cleanliness;
• aesthetics;
• ease of movement from point to point within the hospital.

In order to ensure that the questionnaires were consumer-focused and content valid, focus
group discussions were held with several groups of patients and their caretakers. For inpatients, the
discussions were held in the evenings when patients who are recuperating sit around with their
relatives and friends in groups on the hospital grounds. Discussions were also held with patients and
their caretakers, while they were waiting to see the doctors at the outpatient clinics. To guide the
discussion, the following five questions were asked in order of appearance:
1. What do you think about quality of health care services in Nigeria?
2. How do you judge the quality of hospital services?
3. What good things can be said about this hospital?
4. What bad things can be said about this hospital?
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

5. How would you describe the quality of service at this hospital?

Information gleaned from the focus group discussions was used to refine the service attributes
on which importance and performance ratings were to be sought, as well as the general service
questions. Some of these were the highlighting of the processes in the health records section and the
attitude of health records staff.
To obtain ratings of importance and performance on the battery of service attributes, rather than
use sentence type style to present the more than 30 attributes, which would have resulted in an
unnecessarily long questionnaire, a list of the attributes in a tabular form, with a main statement to
guide the evaluation as the table heading, was adopted.
For hospital service consumers in the Nigerian setting to easily understand the assessment
required, the 4-point Likert scale used by Martilla and James (1977) was adopted. That is, a 4-point
scale of “extremely important”, “important”, “slightly important”, and “not important” to assess
importance; as well as a 4-point scale of “excellent”, “good”, “fair”, “poor” to assess performance. A
“Can’t judge” option was included to allow for consumers who may not be familiar with an attribute.
This situation may arise, when for example, an inpatient does not eat the food provided by the hospital
and hence cannot judge the taste, variety or quantity of the food served.
The questionnaire developed was pre-tested and resulted in final refinement of the instruments
to make for better clarity through the recast of ambiguous questions or attributes, and the removal of
redundant questions or attributes. The quotas allotted to UITH and UCH yielded samples of 300 and
422 consumers, respectively.
The thirty-nine (39) attributes or variables used in this study to describe different facets of
hospital service quality were grouped into seven (7) dimensions to represent the relationships among
sets of presumably interrelated variables, termed a priori service quality dimensions and are presented
in Table 1.. However, factor analysis has been used to empirically confirm the underlying dimensions.
The Principal Components (PC) analysis method was used to extract the factors, while the rotation
algorithm used was the varimax method.
Three data sets were subjected to factor analysis: importance ratings (I), performance ratings
(P), and estimate of attribute quality (Q) (i.e. the product of I and P for each attribute).

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 1: Service Attributes, their Codes and Classification into Hospital Service Quality Dimensions

Codes for Codes for Codes for Service quality

Service Attributes Importance Performance computed dimensions (a
Ratings Ratings Quality scores priori)
Availability of Doctors I1 P1 Q1
Availability of Nurses I2 P2 Q2
Availability of Drugs I3 P3 Q3
Availability of Diagnostic facility I4 P4 Q4
Availability of Emergency services I5 P5 Q5
Explanation of Problem I6 P6 Q6
Solution to Problem I7 P7 Q7
Quality of Care
Clarity of Explanation of Prescription I8 P8 Q8
Promptness of Response I9 P9 Q9
Cleanliness of Ward/Clinic I10 P10 Q10
Adequacy of illumination e.g electricity I11 P11 Q11
Aeration e.g. by cross-ventilation, fans I12 P12 Q12 Condition of
Cleanliness of toilets & bathrooms I13 P13 Q13 Clinic/Ward
Adequacy of water supply I14 P14 Q14
Aesthetics e.g.furnishing, wall decoration I15 P15 Q15
Clarity of directions to various facilities I16 P16 Q16
Ease of movement from point to point I17 P17 Q17 Condition of
Cleanliness of hospital environment I18 P18 Q18 Facility
Aesthetics e.g.plants/flowers, architecture I19 P19 Q19
Taste of food I20 P20 Q20
Adequacy of quantity served/meal I21 P21 Q21 Quality of Food
Variety of food served I22 P22 Q22
Doctors – Empathy I23 P23 Q23
Doctors – Politeness I24 P24 Q24
Nurses – Empathy I25 P25 Q25
Nurses – Politeness I26 P26 Q26
Attitude of Staff
Porters/Orderlies etc – Empathy I27 P27 Q27
Porters/Orderlies etc – Politeness I28 P28 Q28
Medical Records staff – Empathy I29 P29 Q29
Medical Records staff – Politeness I30 P30 Q30
Waiting time to Process card at Medical Records I31 P31 Q31
Waiting time to See the doctor I32 P32 Q32
Waiting time to Collect hospital drugs I33 P33 Q33
Waiting time to make payments I34 P34 Q34
Waiting Time
Waiting time to get results of laboratory tests I35 P35 Q35
for Service
Waiting time to get attention for X-ray I36 P36 Q36
Waiting time to get results of X-ray I37 P37 Q37
Waiting time to get attention for Ultrasound I38 P38 Q38
Waiting time to get results of Ultrasound I39 P39 Q39

Examination of the Correlation Matrices
As a first step, the data was examined for suitability to undergo factor analysis through examination of
the correlation matrix and statistics computed from the inverse correlation matrices. Examination of the
correlation matrices showed that for each data set, all attributes have a large correlation with at least
one of the other variables, and have coefficients greater than 0.3 in absolute value, with at least ten
other variables in the set. The Bartlett’s test of sphericity, its level of significance, and the Kaiser-
Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling adequacy, presented in Table 2, further confirmed the
suitability of the data for factor analysis.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 2: Values of Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure of sampling adequacy, Bartlett Test of Sphericity
(B) and its level of significance (p)

Data Set KMO B P

Importance ratings (I) 0.82 11503 .00000
Performance ratings (P) 0.87 7004 .00000
Computed Quality (Q) 0.82 5995 .00000

Extraction of Factors
The results of factor extraction and rotation are summarized as follows: consumer importance data in
Table 3; consumer performance data in Table 4; consumer computed quality data in Table 5. Each
table shows the following details –
• The number of factors extracted using principal components (PC) analysis, which for all the
data sets corresponded to the number of factors whose eigenvalues (or variances) where
greater than 1 (Norusis and SPSS, 1993)
• The number and percentage of residuals that are greater than 0.05, from the reproduced
correlation matrix after factor rotation (Norusis and SPSS, 1993)
• The final statistics of factor analysis. That is, communality, variance explained by each
factor (that is, the eigenvalue), percent of the total variance explained by each factor, and
the percentage cummulative variance explained by extracted factors.
• The varimax rotated factor matrix, and
• Attributes whose factor matrix coefficient loading on a factor are greater than or equal to
0.50 (Norusis and SPSS, 1993), are designated with a solid line outline. Where an attribute
meets the criteria for loading on more than a factor, a solid line is used to outline the higher
coefficient or interpretable factor, while a broken line is used to enclose the lower

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Table 3: Final Statistics from Principal Components analysis and Varimax Rotated Factor Loadings for Importance ratings (I) of Service Attributes

Principal Components (PC) analysis Extracted 8 factors.

There are 136 (18.0%) residuals that are > 0.05 from Reproduced Correlation Matrix.
Varimax Rotated Factor Matrix and Final Statistics of Factor Analysis:
Service Attributes Code Communality
Availability of Doctors I1 0.05 0.82 0.24 0.10 -0.03 0.07 0.05 0.05 0.76
Availability of Nurses I2 0.09 0.77 0.11 0.17 0.11 0.10 0.16 0.03 0.70
Availability of Drugs I3 0.07 0.80 0.29 0.03 0.08 0.01 0.04 0.12 0.74
Availability of Diagnostic facility I4 0.09 0.78 0.10 0.13 0.19 -0.02 0.26 0.09 0.75
Availability of Emergency services I5 0.16 0.65 0.29 -0.04 0.11 0.13 0.26 0.14 0.65
Explanation of Problem I6 0.11 0.50 0.09 0.14 0.03 0.16 0.53 0.06 0.60
Solution to Problem I7 0.15 0.35 0.26 0.14 -0.01 0.11 0.65 0.16 0.70
Clarity of Explanation of Prescription I8 0.09 0.26 0.21 0.09 0.19 0.04 0.73 0.21 0.74
Promptness of Response I9 0.13 0.21 0.31 0.30 0.10 -0.01 0.69 0.01 0.73
Cleanliness of Ward/Clinic I10 0.11 0.18 0.66 0.15 -0.02 0.03 0.41 0.01 0.67
Adequacy of illumination e.g electricity I11 0.26 0.17 0.70 0.13 0.13 0.08 0.22 0.08 0.69
Aeration e.g. by cross-ventilation, fans I12 0.13 0.23 0.70 0.18 0.20 0.12 0.12 0.06 0.66
Cleanliness of toilets & bathrooms I13 0.11 0.26 0.71 0.19 0.16 0.13 0.12 0.12 0.70
Adequacy of water supply I14 0.03 0.27 0.73 0.13 0.21 0.12 0.10 0.13 0.71
Aesthetics e.g.furnishing, wall decoration I15 0.08 -0.01 0.16 0.04 0.78 0.12 0.23 0.04 0.71
Clarity of directions to various facilities I16 0.08 0.17 0.25 0.25 0.62 0.11 -0.03 0.18 0.59
Ease of movement from point to point I17 0.06 0.25 0.18 0.28 0.69 0.16 -0.02 0.03 0.68
Cleanliness of hospital environment I18 0.20 0.19 0.37 0.17 0.46 0.22 -0.02 0.08 0.50
Aesthetics e.g.plants/flowers, architecture I19 0.01 0.01 -0.01 0.02 0.73 0.35 0.09 0.08 0.67
Taste of food I20 0.08 0.16 0.13 0.13 0.26 0.83 0.10 0.09 0.84
Adequacy of quantity served/meal I21 0.13 0.07 0.11 0.10 0.24 0.86 0.03 0.14 0.85
Variety of food served I22 0.10 0.06 0.16 0.22 0.20 0.82 0.07 0.12 0.81
Doctors – Empathy I23 0.14 0.17 0.18 0.69 0.08 0.20 0.08 0.18 0.65
Doctors – Politeness I24 0.15 0.13 0.22 0.78 0.11 0.13 0.14 0.15 0.77
Nurses – Empathy I25 0.19 0.09 0.13 0.77 0.18 0.08 0.13 0.27 0.78
Nurses – Politeness I26 0.18 0.09 0.17 0.75 0.19 0.09 0.19 0.21 0.76
Porters/Orderlies etc – Empathy I27 0.07 -0.08 0.15 0.34 0.27 0.16 0.35 0.60 0.73
Porters/Orderlies etc – Politeness I28 0.10 -0.04 0.21 0.27 0.22 0.18 0.37 0.65 0.77
Medical Records staff – Empathy I29 0.16 0.26 0.08 0.27 0.05 0.11 0.03 0.75 0.75
Medical Records staff – Politeness I30 0.23 0.30 0.06 0.29 0.06 0.11 0.06 0.71 0.75
Waiting time to Process card at Med.Records I31 0.65 0.06 0.10 -0.04 -0.06 0.01 -0.15 0.41 0.63
Waiting time to See the doctor I32 0.71 0.12 0.18 0.05 -0.02 0.04 -0.09 0.21 0.60
Waiting time to Collect hospital drugs I33 0.74 0.13 0.09 0.03 0.13 -0.02 0.09 0.00 0.59
Waiting time to make payments I34 0.72 0.03 0.00 -0.01 0.26 -0.15 0.12 0.17 0.65
Waiting time to get results of lab. tests I35 0.84 0.05 0.09 0.14 0.14 0.03 0.13 -0.05 0.78
Waiting time to get attention for X-ray I36 0.86 0.02 0.10 0.09 0.03 0.08 0.09 -0.01 0.77
Waiting time to get results of X-ray I37 0.87 0.07 0.09 0.13 -0.01 0.11 0.08 0.03 0.80
Waiting time to get attention for Ultrasound I38 0.82 0.01 0.04 0.17 0.01 0.15 0.10 0.06 0.74
Waiting time to get results of Ultrasound I39 0.79 0.09 0.03 0.18 -0.05 0.15 0.07 0.04 0.70
Variance explained by Factor 12.82 4.39 3.00 2.08 1.64 1.31 1.29 1.13
Percentage variance explained by each factor 32.9 11.2 7.7 5.3 4.2 3.4 3.3 2.9
Percentage Cummulative variance explained by extracted factors 32.9 44.1 51.8 57.2 61.4 64.8 68.1 71.0

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Table 4: Final Statistics from Principal Components analysis and Varimax Rotated Factor Loadings for Performance ratings (P) of Service Attributes

Principal Components (PC) analysis Extracted 8 factors.

There are 129 (17.0%) residuals that are > 0.05 from Reproduced Correlation Matrix.
Varimax Rotated Factor Matrix and Final Statistics of Factor Analysis:
Service Attributes Code Communality
Availability of Doctors P1 0.11 0.16 0.15 0.17 0.77 0.02 -0.08 0.12 0.71
Availability of Nurses P2 0.04 0.14 0.05 0.21 0.81 0.11 -0.05 0.22 0.78
Availability of Drugs P3 0.08 0.19 0.14 0.31 0.72 0.00 0.13 0.11 0.71
Availability of Diagnostic facility P4 0.06 0.36 0.26 0.30 0.61 -0.05 0.30 -0.12 0.77
Availability of Emergency services P5 0.08 0.37 0.20 0.27 0.57 0.12 0.06 -0.17 0.64
Explanation of Problem P6 0.11 0.11 0.05 0.79 0.26 0.12 0.17 0.09 0.77
Solution to Problem P7 0.11 0.23 0.09 0.79 0.24 0.20 -0.07 0.08 0.80
Clarity of Explanation of Prescription P8 0.18 0.09 0.06 0.75 0.25 0.06 0.11 0.06 0.69
Promptness of Response P9 0.15 0.33 0.21 0.68 0.31 0.21 0.06 0.12 0.80
Cleanliness of Ward/Clinic P10 0.23 0.65 0.03 0.30 0.18 -0.02 -0.13 0.26 0.67
Adequacy of illumination e.g electricity P11 0.22 0.71 0.11 0.33 0.20 0.02 0.03 0.10 0.72
Aeration e.g. by cross-ventilation, fans P12 0.03 0.69 0.01 0.04 0.16 0.12 0.10 0.12 0.55
Cleanliness of toilets & bathrooms P13 0.16 0.71 0.21 0.08 0.18 0.01 0.14 0.16 0.66
Adequacy of water supply P14 0.28 0.75 0.14 0.07 0.15 0.10 0.03 0.17 0.73
Aesthetics e.g.furnishing, wall decoration P15 0.12 0.59 0.00 0.10 0.21 0.10 0.16 0.47 0.67
Clarity of directions to various facilities P16 0.17 0.45 0.30 0.19 -0.10 0.04 0.23 0.58 0.76
Ease of movement from point to point P17 0.13 0.44 0.17 0.16 -0.01 0.17 0.21 0.66 0.77
Cleanliness of hospital environment P18 0.15 0.42 0.04 0.00 0.20 -0.02 0.15 0.68 0.73
Aesthetics e.g.plants/flowers, architecture P19 0.18 0.26 0.01 0.11 0.24 0.05 0.36 0.65 0.72
Taste of food P20 0.31 0.10 0.12 0.04 0.11 0.21 0.80 0.25 0.88
Adequacy of quantity served/meal P21 0.27 0.19 0.17 0.10 -0.02 0.28 0.76 0.18 0.84
Variety of food served P22 0.28 0.06 0.15 0.13 0.03 0.20 0.80 0.23 0.86
Doctors – Empathy P23 0.07 -0.09 0.25 0.32 0.03 0.60 0.28 0.33 0.72
Doctors – Politeness P24 0.06 -0.06 0.25 0.31 0.01 0.72 0.17 0.29 0.80
Nurses – Empathy P25 0.29 0.21 0.12 0.09 0.07 0.81 0.19 -0.09 0.86
Nurses – Politeness P26 0.33 0.21 0.23 0.03 0.07 0.78 0.16 -0.11 0.86
Porters/Orderlies etc – Empathy P27 0.25 0.13 0.70 0.23 0.14 0.39 0.15 0.16 0.83
Porters/Orderlies etc – Politeness P28 0.22 0.16 0.71 0.24 0.18 0.37 0.13 0.15 0.84
Medical Records staff – Empathy P29 0.37 0.12 0.77 0.04 0.19 0.18 0.11 0.08 0.83
Medical Records staff – Politeness P30 0.34 0.12 0.78 -0.01 0.23 0.16 0.11 0.03 0.83
Waiting time to Process card at Med.Records P31 0.50 0.13 0.69 0.08 0.09 0.01 0.08 0.01 0.76
Waiting time to See the doctor P32 0.65 0.04 0.48 0.11 0.08 0.08 0.09 0.11 0.70
Waiting time to Collect hospital drugs P33 0.61 0.15 0.35 0.29 -0.05 0.04 0.26 -0.03 0.67
Waiting time to make payments P34 0.70 0.27 0.28 0.15 0.06 0.15 0.11 0.04 0.70
Waiting time to get results of lab. tests P35 0.68 0.32 0.31 0.02 -0.03 0.04 0.17 0.07 0.69
Waiting time to get attention for X-ray P36 0.82 0.22 0.15 0.03 0.07 0.13 0.23 0.04 0.81
Waiting time to get results of X-ray P37 0.83 0.20 0.14 0.15 -0.01 0.14 0.15 0.04 0.80
Waiting time to get attention for Ultrasound P38 0.82 -0.05 0.10 0.05 0.24 0.18 0.11 0.23 0.85
Waiting time to get results of Ultrasound P39 0.70 0.10 0.17 0.19 0.19 0.22 0.06 0.32 0.75
Variance explained by Factor 15.35 3.96 2.73 2.39 1.52 1.41 1.16 1.03
Percentage variance explained by each factor 39.4 10.1 7.0 6.1 3.9 3.6 3.0 2.6
Percentage Cummulative variance explained by extracted factors 39.4 49.5 56.5 62.6 66.5 70.1 73.1 75.7

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Table 5: Final Statistics from Principal Components analysis and Varimax Rotated Factor Loadings for Quality (Q) of Service Attributes

Principal Components (PC) analysis Extracted 8 factors.

There are 124 (16.0%) residuals that are > 0.05 from Reproduced Correlation Matrix.
Varimax Rotated Factor Matrix and Final Statistics of Factor Analysis:
Service Attributes Code Communality
Availability of Doctors Q1 -0.03 0.00 0.16 -0.03 0.20 0.85 0.09 -0.05 0.81
Availability of Nurses Q2 -0.05 0.12 0.30 0.18 0.16 0.76 0.06 -0.19 0.79
Availability of Drugs Q3 0.05 0.09 0.32 0.07 0.23 0.71 0.03 -0.06 0.68
Availability of Diagnostic facility Q4 0.01 0.01 0.49 0.11 0.36 0.60 0.16 0.10 0.78
Availability of Emergency services Q5 0.03 -0.09 0.47 -0.02 0.29 0.60 0.20 0.13 0.73
Explanation of Problem Q6 0.15 0.22 0.76 0.16 0.06 0.31 0.09 -0.04 0.79
Solution to Problem Q7 0.05 0.16 0.78 0.04 0.24 0.25 0.07 -0.09 0.77
Clarity of Explanation of Prescription Q8 0.10 0.07 0.83 0.10 0.13 0.20 0.13 0.07 0.79
Promptness of Response Q9 0.10 0.26 0.71 0.06 0.29 0.21 0.08 0.03 0.72
Cleanliness of Ward/Clinic Q10 0.15 0.07 0.35 0.06 0.76 0.19 -0.03 0.03 0.76
Adequacy of illumination e.g electricity Q11 0.10 0.01 0.40 0.18 0.74 0.15 -0.04 -0.06 0.77
Aeration e.g. by cross-ventilation, fans Q12 0.03 0.19 0.33 0.31 0.65 0.22 0.02 0.12 0.73
Cleanliness of toilets & bathrooms Q13 0.11 0.11 -0.02 0.22 0.77 0.31 0.08 0.15 0.79
Adequacy of water supply Q14 0.08 0.08 0.11 0.40 0.68 0.17 0.20 0.02 0.71
Aesthetics e.g.furnishing, wall decoration Q15 0.17 0.07 0.30 0.71 0.34 -0.06 0.03 0.10 0.75
Clarity of directions to various facilities Q16 0.14 0.08 0.12 0.76 0.20 0.09 0.16 0.22 0.75
Ease of movement from point to point Q17 0.09 0.22 0.05 0.74 0.27 0.11 0.06 0.14 0.71
Cleanliness of hospital environment Q18 0.13 0.14 -0.09 0.56 0.45 0.32 0.01 0.06 0.67
Aesthetics e.g.plants/flowers, architecture Q19 0.18 0.14 0.07 0.76 0.04 0.01 0.10 0.29 0.73
Taste of food Q20 0.19 0.30 -0.01 0.38 0.04 -0.02 0.10 0.75 0.84
Adequacy of quantity served/meal Q21 0.19 0.30 0.01 0.44 0.07 -0.18 0.16 0.71 0.89
Variety of food served Q22 0.20 0.29 0.00 0.24 0.12 -0.07 0.13 0.80 0.86
Doctors – Empathy Q23 0.15 0.77 0.14 0.02 0.07 0.13 0.17 0.33 0.79
Doctors – Politeness Q24 0.14 0.83 0.26 0.10 0.05 0.06 0.08 0.19 0.83
Nurses – Empathy Q25 0.13 0.80 0.09 0.19 0.10 0.02 0.25 0.12 0.79
Nurses – Politeness Q26 0.12 0.82 0.08 0.21 0.15 -0.01 0.27 0.06 0.84
Porters/Orderlies etc – Empathy Q27 0.21 0.50 0.21 0.26 0.04 -0.05 0.65 0.11 0.84
Porters/Orderlies etc – Politeness Q28 0.21 0.43 0.30 0.27 0.07 0.04 0.65 0.13 0.84
Medical Records staff – Empathy Q29 0.25 0.20 0.09 0.09 0.06 0.20 0.84 0.16 0.89
Medical Records staff – Politeness Q30 0.27 0.24 0.09 0.09 -0.01 0.23 0.82 0.07 0.87
Waiting time to Process card at Med. Records Q31 0.62 0.11 0.00 -0.19 0.15 -0.12 0.47 -0.02 0.69
Waiting time to See the doctor Q32 0.74 0.16 0.00 -0.03 0.18 -0.05 0.35 -0.06 0.74
Waiting time to Collect hospital drugs Q33 0.64 0.07 0.21 0.23 0.09 -0.18 0.19 0.11 0.60
Waiting time to make payments Q34 0.73 0.11 0.11 0.33 0.05 -0.05 0.11 -0.12 0.70
Waiting time to get results of lab. tests Q35 0.78 -0.04 0.01 0.16 0.15 0.01 0.23 0.21 0.76
Waiting time to get attention for X-ray Q36 0.81 -0.05 -0.09 0.14 0.12 0.07 0.11 0.27 0.80
Waiting time to get results of X-ray Q37 0.81 0.01 0.11 0.19 -0.02 -0.03 0.02 0.20 0.75
Waiting time to get attention for Ultrasound Q38 0.80 0.26 0.03 0.00 -0.04 0.22 0.00 0.09 0.76
Waiting time to get results of Ultrasound Q39 0.76 0.33 0.22 -0.01 -0.01 0.13 -0.07 -0.03 0.75
Variance explained by Factor 13.05 5.54 3.31 2.89 1.63 1.31 1.27 1.04
Percentage variance explained by each factor 33.5 14.2 8.5 7.4 4.2 3.4 3.3 2.7
Percentage Cummulative variance explained by extracted factors 33.5 47.7 56.2 63.6 67.8 71.1 74.4 77

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Factor analysis of Importance data
Final statistics from principal components analysis and varimax rotated factor loadings for importance
ratings of service attributes by consumers’ are shown in Table 3 and indicates that 8 factors were
extracted, which can be interpreted as follows:
Factor 1 – Waiting time for service
Factor 2 – Resource availability
Factor 3 – Condition of clinic/ward
Factor 4 – Attitude of doctors and nurses
Factor 5 – Condition of facility
Factor 6 – Quality of food
Factor 7 – Quality of care
Factor 8 – Attitude of non-medical staff.
These 8 factors explain 77% of the total variance, while the communalities for the attributes
range from 0.55 to 0.88, indicating that most of the variance is explained by these common factors.
The results show that “Explanation of problem” I6, loaded on both factor 2 (0.50) and factor 7 (0.53).
As argued by Parasuraman, Berry and Zeithaml (1991b:442-443) and Parasuraman, Zeithaml and
Berry (1994:114), similarity in respondent rating of this item to other items pertaining to resource
availability, is a plausible explanation for this diffusion. Also, “cleanliness of hospital environment”
falls short of the 0.50 cut off, although the loading is close (0.46) on factor 5, the expected dimension
for this attribute.

Factor analysis of Performance data

Results from principal components analysis and varimax rotated factor loadings for performance
ratings of service attributes by consumers are shown in Table 4 and indicates that 8 factors were
extracted, which can be interpreted as follows:
Factor 1 – Waiting time for service
Factor 2 – Condition of clinic/ward
Factor 3 – Attitude of non-medical staff
Factor 4 – Quality of care
Factor 5 – Resource availability
Factor 6 – Attitude of doctors and nurses
Factor 7 – Quality of food
Factor 8 – Condition of facility.
These 8 factors explain about 76% of the total variance, while the communalities for the
attributes range from 0.55 to 0.88, indicating that most of the variance is explained by these common
factors. The loadings further reveal that P31 “waiting time to process card at medical records” loaded
on both factor 1 (0.50) and factor 3 (0.69). This attribute was expected to load on factor 1 (the a priori
classification) instead of factor 3. However, the resulting factor loadings while suggesting similarity in
respondent ratings of this attribute and those contributing to factor 3 (attitude of non-medical staff),
may also suggest that consumers evaluated performance on attitude of medical records staff along with
the waiting time experienced while processing their card at medical records.

Factor analysis of Computed Quality data

Principal components analysis and varimax rotated factor loadings for computed quality scores of
service attributes are shown in Table 5 and indicates that 8 factors were extracted, which can be
interpreted as follows:
Factor 1 – Waiting time for service
Factor 2 – Attitude of doctors and nurses
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Factor 3 – Quality of care

Factor 4 – Condition of facility
Factor 5 – Condition of clinic/ward
Factor 6 – Resource availability
Factor 7 – Attitude of non-medical staff
Factor 8 – Quality of food.
These 8 factors explain about 77% of the total variance, while the communalities range from
0.60 to 0.89, indicating that most of the variance is explained by these common factors. The loadings
further reveal that Q27 “Empathy from porters/orderlies” apart from loading interpretably (0.65) on
factor 7 (attitude of non-medical staff), also loads borderline (0.50) on factor 2 (attitude of doctors and
nurses), and can be explained by similarity in respondent rating of the attributes contributing to both
factors. Also, Q15 “aesthetics of clinic/ward” loads on factor 4 (condition of facility) instead of factor
5 (condition of clinic/ward) where the loading is 0.34. Based on interpretability of factors, a plausible
explanation besides similarity in respondent rating of attributes, may be that consumers perceive
aesthetics of the clinic or ward as being a part of the general ambience of the “servicescape” (Bitner,

Overview of Factor Analysis

From the information on residuals shown in Tables 3, 4 and 5, the number of residuals greater than
0.05 in absolute value are less than a quarter for each data set, ranging from 2% to 18%, indicating that
the fitted model of extracted factors reproduces the observed correlations well.
Although, there are cases of diffusion of factor loadings across factors, the overall results
support the a priori classifications proposed. However, evidence from factor loadings suggest that the
dimension described as “Attitude of staff” should be split into two. That is, a dimension which can be
described as “Attitude of doctors and nurses”, and another dimension which can be described as
“Attitude of non-medical staff”.
On examination of the correlation matrix between the resulting quality dimensions, a high
intercorrelation value was observed between quality scores for “Attitude of doctors and nurses” and
“Attitude of non-medical staff”. The correlation coefficient between the service quality scores for these
two dimensions was 0.87 from the UCH data while it was 0.90 from the UITH data. However, since
the results of factor analysis clearly indicate a split in “Attitude of Staff”, we conclude that based on
the data presented, eight (8) dimensions adequately describe the service quality phenomena being
The confirmed service quality dimensions and their contributing attributes are summarized in
Table 6.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 6: Confirmed Service Quality Dimensions for Hospital’s in Nigeria and their Corresponding Attributes

SNo. Confirmed Service Quality Dimensions Associated Service Attributes

• Availability of Doctors
• Availability of Nurses
1. Resource Availability • Availability of Drugs
• Availability of Diagnostic facility
• Availability of Emergency services
• Explanation of Problem
• Solution to Problem
2. Quality of Care
• Clarity of Explanation of Prescription
• Promptness of Response
• Cleanliness of Ward/Clinic
• Adequacy of illumination e.g. electricity
• Aeration e.g. by cross-ventilation, fans
3. Condition of Clinic/Ward
• Cleanliness of toilets & bathrooms
• Adequacy of water supply
• Aesthetics e.g. furnishing, wall decoration
• Clarity of directions to various facilities
• Ease of movement from point to point
4. Condition of Facility
• Cleanliness of hospital environment
• Aesthetics e.g. plants/flowers, architecture
• Taste of food
5. Quality of Food • Adequacy of quantity served/meal
• Variety of food served
• Doctors – Empathy
• Doctors – Politeness
6. Attitude of Doctors/Nurses
• Nurses – Empathy
• Nurses – Politeness
• Porters/Orderlies etc – Empathy
• Porters/Orderlies etc – Politeness
7. Attitude of Non-Medical staff
• Medical Records staff – Empathy
• Medical Records staff – Politeness
• Waiting time to Process card at Medical Records
• Waiting time to See the doctor
• Waiting time to Collect hospital drugs
• Waiting time to make payments
8. Waiting Time for Service • Waiting time to get results of laboratory tests
• Waiting time to get attention for X-ray
• Waiting time to get results of X-ray
• Waiting time to get attention for Ultrasound
• Waiting time to get results of Ultrasound

The reliability and internal consistency of these eight dimensions was confirmed through
examination of the Cronbach alpha reliability coefficients shown in Table 7.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 7: Cronbach alpha reliability coefficients for confirmed service quality dimensions

Dimension UCH UITH Total Sample

Resource availability .8344 .9207 .9031
Quality of care .9161 .8992 .9043
Condition of clinic/ward .7387 .9119 .8927
Condition of facility .8343 .8582 .8541
Quality of food .8986 .9431 .9334
Attitude of doctors/nurses .9296 .9166 .9205
Attitude of non medical staff .9248 .9349 .9314
Waiting time for service .8591 .9316 .9206

None of the reliability alphas is below the cut-off point of 0.60, which is considered to be the
criterion for demonstrating internal consistency of new scales (Nunnally, 1978). The lowest reliability
coefficient was 0.74 for “condition of clinic/ward” at UCH, and the highest was 0.94 for “quality of
food” at UITH. Thus, since “reliability refers to the instruments ability to provide consistent results in
repeated uses, and validity refers to the degree to which the instrument measures the concept the
researcher wants to measure” (Sohail, 2003:201), the 39 service quality research attributes developed
for this study can be said to have met the conditions for reliability and validity.

This is an initial study that is limited in scope and spread. It is expected that future studies would
include hospitals at other levels of the referral system, of both private and public ownership, while the
sampling scope would be expanded to include other service delivery points. Despite the limitations, the
eight dimensions that have emerged from the study – resource availability, quality of care, condition of
clinic/ward, condition of facility, quality of food, attitude of doctors and nurses, attitude of non-
medical staff and waiting time for service – adequately describe the service quality phenomena in the
Nigerian hospital setting. Also, the dimensions provide a workable platform for streamlining service
quality management in Nigeria and to which more attributes could be added or removed, as required.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Alderman, H. and Lavy, V. (1996). “Household Responses to Public Health Services: Cost and
Quality Tradeoffs”. The World Bank Research Observer, Vol.11, No.1, February, pp.3-22.
[2] Bitner, M.J. (1992). “Servicescapes: The impact of Physical Surroundings on Customers and
Employees”. Journal of Marketing, 56, (April), 57-71.
[3] Brady, M.K. and Cronin, J.J. (2001). “Some New Thoughts on Conceptualizing Perceived
Service Quality: A Hierarchical Approach”. Journal of Marketing, 65, (July), 34-49.
[4] Brandt, R.D. (2000). “An ‘outside-in’ approach to determining customer-driven priorities for
Improvement and Innovation”. Burke White Paper Series, Vol. 2, Issue 2, pp. 1-8.
[5] Cronin, J.J. and Taylor, S.A. (1992). “Measuring Service Quality: A Reexamination and
Extension”. Journal of Marketing, 56 (July), 55-68.
[6] Davidow, W.H. and Uttal, B. (1989). Total Customer Service: The Ultimate Weapon. New
York: HarperCollins Publishers.
[7] Devlin, S.J. and Dong, H.K. (1994). “Service Quality from the Customers’ Perspective”.
Marketing Research: A Magazine of Management and Applications, Winter, pp.4-13.
[8] DuVernois, C.C. (2001). “Using an Importance - Performance Analysis of Summer Students in
the Evaluation of Student Health Services”. Master of Public Health thesis, East Tennessee
State University.
[9] Ebersberger, D. (2001). “Clinical Quality Data and CAHPS: An opportunity?”. Seventh
National CAHPS User Group Meeting. (available at: http://www.vha.com)
[10] Fatusi, A.O. and Ijadunola, K. (2003). National Study on Essential Obstetric Care Facilities in
Nigeria: Technical report. FMOH/UNFPA, ix – xi.
[11] Green, P.E. and Tull, D.S. (1990). Research for Marketing Decisions (4th edition). New Delhi:
Prentice-Hall of India.
[12] Kenagy, J., Berwick, D. and Shore, M. (1999). “Service Quality in Healthcare”, JAMA,
February 17, pp. 661-665.
[13] Kennedy, D. and Kennedy, S. (1987), “Using importance-performance analysis for evaluating
university health services”. Journal of American College Health, 36, 27-31.
[14] Kotler, P. (2002). Marketing Management (11th edition). New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India.
[15] Kutzin, J. (1994). “Experience with Organizational and Financing Reform of the Health
Sector”. WHO/SHS/CC/94.3 Division of Strengthening of Health Services, World Health
[16] Lantis, K., Green, C.P. and Joyce, S. (2002). “Providers and Quality of Care”, New
Perspectives on Quality of Care, No. 3, Population Council and Population Reference Bureau.
[17] Luck, D.J. and Rubin, R.S. (1999). Marketing Research (7th edition). New Delhi: Prentice-Hall
of India.
[18] Martilla, J.A. and James, J.C. (1977). “Importance-Performance Analysis”. Journal of
Marketing, January, pp.77-79.
[19] Mbanefo, G.F. and Soyibo, A. (1992). “Resource Allocation Issues in Nigerian Health Care
Delivery System: Indicative Policy Issues from Preliminary Descriptive Analysis”. Paper
presented at the Workshop on Health Care Cost, Financing and Utilization. November 20th-24th.
[20] Mowen, J.C. (1995). Consumer Behaviour (4th edition). New Jersey: Prentice Hall
[21] Norusis, M.J. and SPSS (1993). SPSS for Windows Professional Statistics Release 6.0 Manual.
Chicago: SPSS Inc.
[22] Nunnally, J.C. (1978). Psychometric Theory (2nd edition). New Jersey: McGraw-Hill Book
Company. Cited in: Sohail (2003).
[23] Oh, H. (2001). “Revisiting Importance – Performance Analysis”. Tourism Management, 22,

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[24] Olujide, J.O. and Mejabi, O.V. (2007), “Methodological Issues in Importance-Performance
Analysis: Resolving the ambiguity”, European Journal of Social Sciences, 4(2), 7-21.
[25] Olumide, E.A.A, Obianu, C.N. and Mako, V.I. (2000). “Assessment of Quality for PHC in
Nigeria”, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, 1-58.
[26] Ostrom, A. and Iacobucci, D. (1995). “Consumer Trade-Offs and the Evaluation of Services”.
Journal of Marketing, January, 59 (1), 17-28.
[27] Parasuraman, A., Berry, L.L. and Zeithaml, V.A. (1991a). “Understanding Customer
Expectations of Service”. Sloane Management Review, Spring, pp.39-48.
[28] Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A. and Berry, L.L. (1985). “A Conceptual Model of Service
Quality and Its Implications for Future Research”. Journal of Marketing, 49 (Fall), 41-50.
[29] Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A. and Berry, L.L. (1994). “Reassessment of Expectations as a
Comparison Standard in Measuring Service Quality: Implications for Further Research”.
Journal of Marketing, 58, January, 111-124.
[30] Schiffman, L.G. and Kanuk, L.L. (1998). Consumer Behaviour (6th edition). New Delhi:
Prentice-Hall of India.
[31] Sohail, M.S. (2003). “Service Quality in Hospitals: More favourable than you might think”.
Managing Service Quality, Vol. 13, Issue 3, pp.197-206.
[32] Sower, V., Duffy, J., Kilbourne, W., Kohers, G., and Jones, P. (2001). “The Dimensions of
Service Quality for Hospitals: Development of the KQCAH Scale”. Health Care Management
Review, Vol. 26, No. 2, Spring, 47-59.
[33] Wakefield, R.L. (2001). “The CPA Manager”, The CPA Journal, August.
[34] WHO (2000). The World Health Report 2000 – Health Systems: Improving Performance.
Geneva: World Health Organisation.
[35] Whynes, D.K. and Reed, G.V. (1994). “Fundholders’ referral patterns and perceptions of
service quality provision of elective general surgery”. British Journal of General Practice, 44,
[36] Whynes, D.K. and Reed, G.V. (1995). “Importance-performance analysis as a guide for
hospitals in improving their provision of services”. Health Services Management Research, 8,
[37] Wilkin, D., Hallam, L. and Doggett, M. (1992). Measures of Need and Outcome for Primary
Health Care”. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Gender Differences in Resources Allocation among

Rural Households in Nigeria: Implication for
Food Security and Living Standard

Babatunde. R.O
Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences (490b)
University of Hohenheim, D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany
E-mail: ralphag20@yahoo.com
Tel: +4971145923889

Omotesho. O.A
Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management
University of Ilorin, PMB 1515 Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

Olorunsanya. E.O
Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management
University of Ilorin, PMB 1515 Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

Owotoki. G.M
Department of Rural Development Economics and Policy (490a)
University of Hohenheim, D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany

While women play important roles as food producers, managers of natural resources,
income earners, food processors, food marketers and caretakers of household’s food and
nutrition security, they continue to face enormous social, cultural and economic constraints.
This study assesses gender differences in allocation of resources and their impact on
household’s food security and living standard. The study employed a three-stage sampling
method to select sixty farming households consisting of thirty male and thirty female-
headed households. The data were collected from Kwara State in the north-central region
of Nigeria in year 2005. Descriptive statistics were used to compare gender differences in
resources allocation. Anthropometric measurement such as height-for-age, weight-for-
height and incidence of stunting and wasting were measured and used as indices of food
security measure among male and female-headed households. Several criteria for assessing
living standard were measured and compared also. The study showed that household’s and
production resources were more available in male than in female-headed households. This
confirms the notion of gender disparity in resource ownership and income. Food security
and living standard were lower in female than in male-headed households. It is
recommended that government should put in place, legislation that would give equal right
to men and women to own resources and to inheritance. Women should be given increased
off-farm employment opportunities and sufficient nutrition education to improve their food
and nutrition security status.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Keywords: Gender, Food security, Living standard, Male-headed household, Female-

headed household, North Central Nigeria.

1. Introduction
The right to an adequate standard of living including food is recognized in the universal declaration of
human right (Eide, 1984). Food security and living standard are foundation objectives of development
policy and also measures of its success. Food security has been a leading concept in the development
discourse during the last few decades. While up to the 1970s, food security was primarily seen in terms
of availability of food supplies, gradually the emphasis shifted to the issue of access. The growing
attention for access rather than just availability was accompanied by a shift in the level of aggregation
at which food security problems were analyzed. Food security was no longer only studied as a global,
regional or national issue but also as a household’s issue. Also, important is that fact that global,
regional or national adequacy in food supply does not mean adequate supply at the households’ level
and this prompted various study on food security at the household’s level (Niehof, 2002). Food
security is an important ingredient of economic development. Adequate food and nutrition enhances
physical health thereby improves labour productivities. Good nutrition is associated with learning
ability and could lead to higher human capital accumulation. Nutrition also increases the standard of
living thereby increasing life expectancy (Kimhi, 2004).
Gender equality and empowerment of women has been identified as one of the effective ways
to combat poverty, hunger and diseases and to stimulate sustainable development. Both men and
women are actors, stakeholders and agents of change in their households and communities and
contribute to national development. Bringing the perceptions, knowledge, experience, needs and
priorities of both men and women to the centre of attention enlarges the resources for development and
enriches development efforts. Women are however, often constrained from contributing their fullest
potentials by inequalities and subordination (Kimhi, 2004). Despite improvement in building women’s
capabilities, gender gaps in entitlement-the resources which women and men can command through
available legal means, continue to persist (Akinsanmi and Doppler, 2005). This is usually reflected in
unequal right between men and women for both natural and physical capital which leads to inadequate
and inappropriate use of resources; and limited alternatives, low income, poor diet and low living
standard. These disparities have serious consequences for well-being not only for women themselves,
but also for their families and the society at large.
In sub-Saharan Africa, women have less access to education, labour, fertilizer and other inputs
than their men counterpart. The right to own, use and manage land resources is also limited among
rural women (Quisumbing, 1996). Various studies (Aidoo, 1998; Kimhi, 2004; Panin and Brummer,
2000; Ellis, Manuel and Blackden, 2006) have shown that women produce between 60 and 80% of the
food in most developing countries and are responsible for half of the world’s food production. FAO
(1989), confirmed that while women are the mainstay of small scale agriculture, the farm labour force
and day-to-day family subsistence, they face more difficulties than men in gaining access to resources
such as land, credit and improved inputs. In Nigeria, women play a major role in production of food
crops and they also undertake processing, marketing and livestock husbandry1. Despite the bias against
women, empirical studies have shown that there would be an increase agricultural productivity,
improved nutrition and health for children as well as reduction in food insecurity when gender
discrimination against women is eliminated in terms of access to productive resources (Blackden and
Wodon, 2006).

A survey by Ukeje (2003), on the contribution of women in staple food crops production among the ‘Ibos’ of Abia
state in south-eastern Nigeria, showed that women contributed most of the labour in planting maize, cassava, cowpea,
melon and rice. They are completely in charge of planting and harvesting of cowpea and melon. Apart from land
preparation, women contributed more than 80% of the labour for planting, weeding, harvesting and storage of cassava
in the study area.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Food security has been defined as a situation when all people, at all times, have physical and
economic access to sufficient, save and nutritious food needed to maintain a healthy and active life
(FAO, 1996). A situation where this does not occur indicates food insecurity. The definition integrates
access to food, availability of food and the biological utilization of food and stability of these. These
factors are interrelated. Having access to food, for example, means little if poor health status impinges
on people’s ability to utilise the food they consume. Likewise, earning income to purchase food
(access) matter less if insufficient food is available in the market and a well-stocked market is
irrelevant to those who do not earn income to purchase food. According to Scoones (2000), a
household represents a group of people cohabiting together, carrying out production and consumption
activities together and accepting the supremacy of an individual (i.e the head of the household). This
view implies that people in the household share meals, have common source of income or pool
resources to meet the needs of the household’s members. The concept of living standard is a complex
one and composed of several criteria (Doppler, 2005). These criteria include family income, cash and
liquidity, degree of independence from resource owners, food supply, food security, supply of housing,
sanitary equipment, energy, clothes, education, health conditions and social security. These criteria
involve social and economic dimensions and both qualitative and quantitative values. The living
standard criteria are often used to measure economic success and security of the family (Doppler,
2005). The socioeconomic characteristics and resources of individual households have been identified
as basic factors that influence the food security, living standard and economic success of the household
(Sanusi et al, 2006). The implication of this is that disparity in access to resources could lead to
disparity in household’s food security and living standard.
The study of gender differences in resource allocation in Nigeria has received increasing
attention in recent years. Not only does such an analysis provide important insights into labour and
resource supply behaviour, but it also gives useful information about policy changes that require the
use of resources in the household. A number of studies have analyzed resource allocation in developing
countries by gender. It is widely held that women in developing countries bear a disproportionate share
of work, with most of their activities concentrated in the home; they work longer when the time they
spend on domestic work is added to the hours they work outside the home and in family enterprises.
The data for Nigeria as well as other developing countries show that girls tend to spend more time on
domestic chores than boys and thus have more limited opportunities for education and leisure activities
(World Bank, 1997).
The aim of this paper is to contribute to the on-going debate about gender inequalities in
Nigeria and the impact on households’ food security and living standard. The paper compares
resources availability, food security level and the living standard among male and female-headed
households in Kwara state, north-central region of the country. This type of study could guide policy
makers in advancing policies that would reduce inequalities and remove the dichotomy among men
and women on issues of resources access and control which could affect food security and living
standard. The remaining part of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 discusses gender
inequality and its roles in agriculture while section 3 discusses gender inequality and food security in
Nigeria. The conceptual framework is presented in section 4. Data set and methodology adopted are
discussed in section 5. Section 6 present and discuss the empirical results and section 7 summarizes
and concludes the paper.

2. Gender Inequalities and its Roles in Agriculture

Access to resources is essential to improving agricultural productivity of both men and women
farmers. Because women play crucial roles in agricultural production, improving productivity and
well-being will depend to a large extent on ensuring that women farmers have sufficient access to
production inputs and support services. While both men and women smallholder farmers lack
sufficient access to agricultural resources, women generally have much less access to resources than

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

men (Niehof, 2002). The causes of this are rooted, to a great extent in: gender-blind development
policies; discriminatory legislation, traditions and belief; and lack of access to decision making.
Worldwide, women have insufficient access to land, membership of rural organizations, credit,
agricultural inputs and technology, training and extension and marketing services (Saito, 1994). Result
of IDRC (1991) studies in African countries showed that legal and cultural constraints placed on
women’s access to inputs hamper their ability to make effective contribution to agricultural production
and hence, food supply.
Though, men and women in the rural areas have always been predominantly known as farmers
with trading as a secondary occupation (Okore, 1987). Nigerian rural women can play a more
predominant role in agriculture if they are given the necessary farm resources at the appropriate time
(Olawoye, 1989). Several studies by the FAO (1984), Sivard (1985), Walker (1985), and Ikpi (1988)
indicated that Nigerian women contribute between 46 and 65% of the total hours spent on traditional
agriculture and processing. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that women in developing countries
are the backbone of the rural food systems. Research estimates showed that for women in Burkina Faso
and in Nigeria, the average working day is 14 hours, eight or nine of which are devoted to farm work,
and the remainder to non-farm work; the corresponding figure for men is between eight and nine hours,
seven of which is in farm work, and the remainder in non-farming activities (Saito, 1994). In the centre
province of Cameroon, women’s total weekly labour was over 64 hours, of which 26 are employed in
providing family labour, while men’s weekly labour is 32 hours, four of which are for family labour
(Blackden and Bhanu, 1999). Village surveys in Ghana and Tanzania have demonstrated that women
spend about three times more hours in transport than men do and that they transport about four times
more in terms of volume (Abbas, 1997)
Standing (1978), identified major determinants of gender resource allocation. These factors can
be grouped into individual, household and resource market characteristics. Each category of variable
could further be sub-divided into micro and macro variables. At the micro level, socio-economic
variables considered in the household production model were child status, educational attainment,
husband’s income, occupation and education. Other micro variables more specific to developing
countries include marital status, presence of domestic or house help in the household, migrant status,
women’s relationship to the household head, proportion of informal sector job opportunities and
income distribution (Standing and Sheehan, 1978). Okojie (1981) maintained that cultural variables are
also important in any analysis of gender resource allocation behaviour. Such cultural variables include
religion, ethnic origin (race or caste), marriage type (polygamy or monogamy) and household type
(nuclear or extended families). Women continue to have less access to simple labour saving devices
and inputs such as fertilizers than their male counterparts. This has made their farm work laborious and
associated with low productivity and meagre economic returns (NAERLS, 1994). Although capital is
relatively scarce and expensive in Nigeria, most of the technologies available to women and other
small holders are purchased. Women do not often have economic access to improved technologies
such as chemical fertilizers and herbicides (IITA, 1990).

3. Gender Inequalities and Food Security in Nigeria

Despite the economic gains that Nigeria has made over the years, poverty and household food
insecurity remain persistent and pressing social problems (Akinsanmi, 2005). Food insecurity is a
major problem amongst a large part of the population. The level of food insecurity has continued to
rise steadily since the 1980s. It rose from about 18% in 1986 to about 41% in 2004 (Sanusi et al,
2006). The daily per capita calorie supply as a proportion of recommended requirement was 90%
between 1988 and 1990 and 85% between 1992 and 1996 (FOS, 1999). According to FAO (2000),
Nigeria was able to reduce the prevalence of under nourishment by more than 30% between 1979-81
and 1996-98. The prevalence dropped from 44% to 8% between these periods. However, the average
per capita daily calorie intake remained 2050 kcal during the 1979-81 periods while the diet comprised

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

of 64% cereals and root and tubers (Agboola et al, 2004). National food expenditure data showed that
almost two thirds of total expenditure of households in 1980 was on food. This food share rose by
about 10% points by 1985, but dropped during the period 1985-1992. In subsequent four year period,
1992-1996, a further drop of 5% points took place. The figures were 63.4%, 74.1%, 72.8% and 63.6%
for 1980, 1985, 1992 and 1996 respectively. Also, trends in poverty reveal that the incidence of
poverty increased sharply between 1980 and 1985 and between 1992 and 1996. The figures were
27,2%, 46.3%, 42.7% and 65.6% for 1980, 1985, 1992 and 1996 respectively. The figure for 1996 was
translated to 67.1 million (Agboola et al, 2004). The overall national average household income in
1996 prices indicate a very significant downward trend, moving from 13,454 Naira in 1980 to 6,252
Naira in 1996, over 50% reduction. The average household in the rural areas earned 5,590 Naira (FAO,
2000). A disaggregated data of food insecurity in Nigeria showed that women and children accounted
for 75% of the population of food insecure individuals2. The proportion of female-headed households
that were food insecure was about 70%. While women play important roles as producers of food,
managers of natural resources, income earners and caretakers of household food and nutritional
security they continue to face enormous social, cultural and economic constraints (Ukeje, 2003).
Owotoki (2005), observed that land holding and other household’s assets of female-headed households
were smaller than that of their male counterpart. This is also true for farm equipments, production
credit and labour supply. Akinsanmi (2005), reported that family income, land size, agricultural and
household equipment, credit and labour resources were significantly higher in male than in female-
headed households in Nigeria. The FAO (2006), reported that the literacy level of women was 60.6%
while that of men was 75.7% in 2003 in Nigeria. Net enrolment ratio in primary school for girls was
56.5% and 63.5% for boys in 2004. The overall gender parity index in tertiary education enrolment
was 0.55 in 2004. Furthermore, the share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
was lower than 30% in 2002. Despite their seemingly achievement in the political scene in Nigeria,
women still suffer glaring inequality3.

4. Conceptual Framework
The farming system approach which looks at the farm household in the wider context of its
environment was used in this study. Wattenbach and Friedrich (2001), defined a farming system as a
natural resource management unit operated by a farm household and include the entire range of
economic activities of the family members (on-farm, off-farm agricultural as well as off-farm non-
agricultural activities) to ensure their physical survival as well as their social and economic well-being.
Doppler (2005), considers the concept of farming system as important in the understanding of the
interactions between farm and household as open systems with its constraints and potentials and having
complex interactions with the external components which are important for the survival of the system.
The internal factors related to a farming system are resource endowment-family labour, capital, land,
own assets. The external factors include labour market, extension services, socio-cultural environment,
financial and insurance market. The farming system approach suggests that the amount of resources
that a farm household control has effect not only on the availability, accessibility, stability and
utilization of food, but also on the living standard of the household (Doppler (2005).
UNICEF (1998), outlines the causes of malnutrition as immediate, underlying and basic. The
basic causes of malnutrition which manifest at the society level include among others, potential and
actual resources base. These comprise of human, economic, environmental, technological and political

The more vulnerable groups include the victims of religious and ethnic conflicts-mostly located in the northern part of
the country, nomadic pastoralists, landless and rental farmers, orphans, street children and beggars, migrant labours,
female-headed households and widows (Ayoola et al, 2001).
The total number of seats held by women in the National Parliament as at 2005 was 21 compared to 448 held by men.
There were three female deputy governors and no governor out of 36. As at September 2006, there were 9 female
ministers out of a total of 38 ministers (FGN, 2006).
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

resources. In this study, gender difference in access to resources is considered as one of the basic
causes of difference in food security and living standard among male and female-headed households.
Figure 1 shows the conceptual framework of malnutrition.

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework of Causes of Malnutrition

5. Data Set and Methodology

This paper is based on a primary data collected through a cross section survey of farm households in
Kwara state in the north central region of Nigeria. Out of the six states in this zone, the state was
purposely chosen based on knowledge of the prevailing situation4. Kwara State had a population of
over 1.5 million people with about 219,508 farm families in 1991. The total cultivated area under crop
is about 408,436 hectares. (KWADP, 1998). The climate of the state is tropical with rain and dry
seasons5. According to the KWSG (1985), a household in the study area had on the average 9.9 persons
consisting of a head of household, 1.2 wives, 4.9 children and 2.8 other dependent relatives. However,
CBN/SAP (1990), indicated that the average household has about 6.7 persons consisting of the head of
the household, 1.6 wives, 2.9 children and 1.3 other dependent relatives. Thus, the average household
size appears to be on the decrease. KWSG (1985), also submitted that about 60 man-days of the
average farm household labour supply was devoted to farming per month in the state. These were made
up of 19 man-days contributed by the head of households, 13 man-days contributed by the spouses and
28 man-days contributed by the children and dependents. On annual basis, there was an estimated
labour capacity of 1220 man-days per household. Over 50% of the available labour was actually
utilized in agriculture. The indications are that agriculture provides a significant amount of
employment and income in the state.

The state is often regarded as the gateway between the northern and southern regions of Nigeria. This strategic location
allows both farm and non-farm activities to thrive side by side in the state. Farm produce could easily find markets
among itinerants traders from the north or south, while the presence of these traders encourages non-farm businesses.
The rain season lasts between April and October while the dry season is between November and March. The annual
rainfall ranges between 1200mm and 2400mm and the average temperature range is between 25ºC and 35ºC.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

The study employed a three-stage sampling technique procedure to select 60 households. The
first stage was random selection of three Local Government Areas from the state. Two villages were
randomly selected from each of the selected Local Government Areas in the second stage. A total of
six villages were randomly selected. In the final stage, two lists of the households were generated in
each of the village consisting of the male-headed households and the female headed households6. Ten
respondents comprising five male-headed and five female-headed households were selected in each
village. Data were collected through the use of a gender disaggregated structured questionnaire. The
survey collected both quantitative and qualitative data consisting of both socio-economic and
demographic characteristics of the households. The gender disaggregated information collected
included household members, age, sex, education, employment status, income, work and leisure hours,
health conditions of household members, allocation of other resources e.g. land, capital and credit
facilities, decision making in the households, household living standard and information about
household’s coping strategies were also collected. Descriptive and statistical methods were used to
compare the level of resources available to male and female-headed households. This was done to
bring out the level of gender inequalities in access to productive resources. Anthropometric
measurement such as height-for-age, weight-for-height and incidence of stunting and wasting were
measured and used as indices of food security measure among male and female-headed households.
Several criteria for assessing living standard were measured and compared to describe the difference in
living standard among male and female-headed households.

6. Empirical Results and Discussion

6.1. Resources Availability in Male and Female-headed Households
The comparison of resources available to male and female-headed households shows that farm land,
labour, off-farm income, value of farm tools, households’ assets, education of head and total family
income were significantly higher in male than in female-headed households. There was no significant
difference between farm income in male and female-headed households. Given the fact that male-
headed households have more farm resources than female-headed households, it is expected that the
farm output measured by the farm income should be higher and significant, but this was not the case.
This bring to the fore the issue of efficiency among men and women farmers. The non-significant
difference in the farm income means that female-headed households earned equal farm income
compared to male-headed households who had larger resources. This could be interpreted to support
the notion that women farmers are more efficient than their men counterpart (Saito, 1994). Though
there was no figure on the amount of credit received by the households, the result shows that 71.5% of
the male-headed households received credit while 63.1% of the female-headed households actually
received credit. Table 1 shows the comparison of resources availability among male and female-headed

The female-headed households found in these villages are the De lure type. The woman becomes the household head
when she is unmarried, divorced or widowed.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 1: Comparison of resources availability between male and female-headed households.

Male-headed households Female-headed households T-values

2.19 1.10
Farm land (acres) 1.86*
(1.64) (1.02)
3060 2077
Labour (hour) 2.03**
(2141) (1012)
9.27 5.53
Education of household head (year) 2.84***
(6.61) (5.51)
192,543 153,315
Farm Income (Naira/annum) 0.404
(213387) (140354)
881,000 609,600
Off-farm income (Naira/annum) 3.23***
(374495) (254137)
1,073,543 762,915
Total Family income (Naira/annum) 2.98***
(402444) (331099)
75,706 5,946
Value of farm tools (Naira) 1.81**
(3152) (3696)
174,407 127,825
Value of household assets (Naira) 2.36**
(10046) (11236)
Received credit (%) 71.5 63.1 2.78***
Source: survey data, 2005, *, **, *** indicates that the difference between the two measures is significant at 10%, 5% and 1% level respectively.
Numbers in parenthesis are standard deviations.
Note: 1 US Dollar = 120 Naira (2005)

6.2. Food Security level among Male and Female-headed Households

As stated earlier, anthropometrics measurements (which measure the nutritional status) was used as an
index of the level of food security among male and female-headed households. In children, the three
most commonly used anthropometric indices to assess nutrition status are; weight-for-height, height-
for-age and weight-for-age. For the purpose of this study only the first two indices were used. The Z
scores of weight-for-height and height-for-age were estimated in reference to the measured height,
weight and age of preschool children compared to the standard well-nourished individuals of same age
and sex. The use of the mean Z scores has the advantage of describing the nutritional status of the
entire group directly without resorting to a subset of individuals below a set cut-off (WHO, 1995).
Table 2 shows that the mean height for age Z scores of both the preschoolers in the male and female-
headed households were less than zero reflecting that most of the preschoolers in the study area failed
to reach linear growth potential. There was no significant difference in the mean weight-for-height Z
scores for the preschoolers for both households.
By classifying the preschoolers into male and female-headed households (Figure 2), 11% and
16% of the preschoolers in the male and female-headed households were found to be wasting
indicating a recent and severe process of weight loss, which is often associated with acute starvation
and/or severe disease. The higher prevalence of wasting and stunted growth in the female-headed
households indicates that these households had less access to and utilization of food and are less food
secure than the male-headed households.

Table 2: Comparison of height for age and weight for height Z scores of preschoolers in male and female-
headed households.

Male-headed households Female-headed households

n=15 n=11
-1.02 -1.78
Mean height for age Z scores 2.32**
(1.36) (2.01)
0.42 0.14
Mean weight for height Z scores 0.32ns
(1.26) (1.52)
Source: own survey data, 2005. *, **, *** indicates that the difference between the two measures is significant at 5% level. ns = not significant;
numbers in parenthesis are standard deviations.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Figure 2: Comparison of the wasting and stunting in preschoolers in male and female-headed households.


50 48%
% P re s c h o o l


W a s t in g
23% S t u n t in g

20 16%


Source: Own survey data, 2005

6.3. Comparison of Living Standard among Male and Female-headed Households

Living standard can be viewed as a complex parameter which is composed of several aspects varying
from region to region, from culture to culture. Doppler (2005), proposed a set of criteria to quantify
and compare living standard. The criteria are: family income, liquidity, supply of basic needs such as
food supply, drinking water and housing, health situation, degree of independence from resources
owners, education and social security. Table 3 shows the summary of living standard for the male and
female-headed households. The table shows that among the male-headed households 15.5% had more
than enough food, 55.3% had enough food and 29.2% reported that they had insufficient food supplies.
In the female-headed households 9.8%, 42.0% and 48.2% had more than enough food, enough food
and insufficient food respectively. The table further shows that male-headed households spent 23.0%
of their income on food expense compared to 20.3% spent by the female-headed households. This
implies that male-headed households spent more on food whereas the female-headed households spent
less on food, thus making them less food secure. Analysis on drinking water showed that 18.6%,
30.4% and 51.0% of the male-headed household drank from the river, well and tap respectively as
compared to the female-headed households with 34.4%, 28.2% and 37.4% respectively. This may
imply that other things being equal, the male-headed households (as compared to the female-headed
households) were less susceptible to water borne diseases since a higher percentage of them drank from
the tap which is considered better than drinking from the river and well.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 3: Summary of living standards between the male and female-headed households.

Criteria Male headed households Female headed households

Family income (Naira/annum) 1,073,543 762,915
Farm income (Naira/annum) 192,543 153,315
Off-farm income (Naira/annum) 881,000 609,600
Food supply perception (%)
More than enough 15.5 9.8
Enough 55.3 42.0
Not enough 29.2 48.2
Food expenditure in family income (%) 23.0 20.3
Drinking water (%)
River water 18.6 34.4
Well water 30.4 28.2
Pipe-borne water 51.0 37.4
Housing (%)
Thatched straw house 44.2 46.0
Mud-brick wall house 31.0 40.5
Cement-block house 24.8 13.5
Average years of schooling of head 9.27 5.53
Percentage literacy level of head 80.0 60.0
Percentage of head with primary school 56.0 44.0
Health condition (%)
Rarely fall sick 56.6 20.0
Fall sick very often 30.0 54.4
Source: Own survey data, 2005. Note: 1 US Dollar = 120 Naira (2005)

Analysis of housing condition showed that 46.0%, 40.5% and 13.5% of the female-headed
households lived in thatched straw houses, mud-brick houses and cement-block houses respectively
while 44.2%, 31.0% and 24.8% of the male-headed household lived in thatched straw houses, mud-
brick houses and cement-block houses respectively. On the whole the Results above indicate that male-
headed households had a better living standard than the female-headed household. This supports the
findings of Saito (1994), who submitted that female-headed households live under very poor conditions
in Nigeria, regardless of the key role they play in food and agriculture.

7. Summary and Conclusion

This study examines gender difference in resources allocation and its implications on food security and
living standard among rural households in Nigeria. Results of the study shows that there were gender-
based disparities in the allocation, ownership and control of production resources; the male-headed
households operated more land than the female-headed households, this was due to cultural gender
biases which made it difficult for females to own land directly. Most of the female household heads
owned land through inheritance by the children especially the males. The study has also shown that
labour hour, off-farm income, education of heads, value of farm tools and value of household’s assets
were significantly higher in male-headed households than in female-headed households. Though there
was no significant difference between the farm income in male and female-headed households, the
total household’s income was higher in male-headed households. In terms of credit availability, a
higher percentage (71.5%) of male-headed households received credit for agricultural and household
needs than the female-headed households (63.1%). This could be the fallout of absent of suitable
collateral assets which could serve as guarantee for obtaining credit.
The study further shows that, using anthropometrics measurements as indicator of food
security, female-headed households were more food insecure than male-headed households. There was
higher prevalence of wasting and stunted growth among preschool children of female than male-

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

headed households. This implies probably that female-headed households had less access to food and
utilization of food which eventually leads to higher food insecurity. The result of the living standard
criteria showed that male-headed households had a higher living standard than their female
counterpart. Most of the criteria used for measuring living standard (see for example Doppler, 2005),
were higher in male than in female-headed households. This could also be tied to the disparity in assets
ownership and control, given the fact that most of these criteria are largely dependent on household’s
assets and entitlement.
Given the fact that increasing food production and income are central to achieving food security
and improved living standard, sufficient access to resources should be guarantee to both men and
women farmers in Nigeria. Legislations that would give equal right to men and women to own
production resources should be put in place. Awareness campaigns should be carried out to sensitise
the society on the need to change the cultural beliefs which do not allow women the right to
inheritance. This is because it was discovered that one of the most important ways by which men
acquire resources is by inheritance and there are still several traditional beliefs which prohibit women
from right of inheritance. Formal and informal credit institutions should endeavour to give loans to
women (as they do to men) without demanding for impossible collaterals from them. The income
earning potentials of women should be enhanced by providing opportunities for more off-farm
employment. This would increase their economic access to quality foods. Women should be given
sufficient nutrition education to ensure that with adequate access to food; nutritionally adequate meals
are served in their homes thereby improving food and nutrition security of farming households in
general and female-headed households in particular.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Abbas, D.J. (1997): Gender Asymmetries in Intra-household Resource Allocation in Sub-
Saharan Africa: Some Policy Implications for Land and Labour Productivity. In: Dicker man,
W. C. (ed), Security of Tenure and Land Registration in Africa Literature Review and
Synthesis. Land tenure centre, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
[2] Agboola, P.O; Ikpi, A.E and Kormawa, P.M (2004): Factors Influencing Food Insecurity
among Rural Farming Households in Africa: Results of Analysis from Nigeria. Internet
Discussion Paper, November, 2004
[3] Aidoo, A.A. (1988): Women and Food Security: The Opportunity for Africa. Development
Journal of the Society of International Development, (273): 51-62.
[4] Akinsanmi, A (2005): Gender Relations and Food Security of Rural Families in Imo State,
South East Nigeria. Published Doctoral Thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics and
Social Sciences, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. Pp 234
[5] Akinsanmi, A and Doppler, W (2005): Socio-Economics and Food Security of Farming
Families in South East Nigeria. Paper Presented at Tropentag, 2005, Conference on
International Agricultural Research and Development, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart,
[6] Ayoola, G.B; Aina, E; Mamman, B; Nweze, N; Odebiyi, T; Okumadewa, F; Shehu, D;
Williams, O and Zasha, J (2001): Nigeria Voice of the Poor. Consultation with the Poor,
Country Synthesis Report
[7] Blackden, C. M. and C. Bhanu. (1999): Gender, Growth and Poverty Reduction: Special
Program of Assistance for Africa, 1998 Status Report on Poverty in Sub-Saharan Afric. World
Bank Technical Papers, No. 428. http://www.ifad.org/gender/progress/pa/pa_5.htm
[8] Blackden, C.M and Wodon, Q. (2006): Gender, Time Use and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa,
World Bank Working Paper 73, World Bank, Washington DC
[9] CBN/SAP (1990): Household Demographic Survey in Kwara State. Federal Office of
Statistics, Nigeria.
[10] Doppler, W (2005): Farming and Rural Systems Approaches. Published lecture Material,
University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany.
[11] Eide, A. (1984): Food as a Human Right, United Nation University, Tokyo, Japan
[12] Ellis, A; C. Manuel and C.M Blackden (2006): Gender and Economic Growth in Uganda:
Unleashing the Power of Women, World Bank, Washington DC
[13] FAO (1984): The Persistence of Food and Agricultural Crisis in Africa and the Role of the
International Community. A Paper Presented by FAO to the Conference on the Lagos Plan of
Action and Africa’s Future International Relations at Dalhousie University, Canada.
[14] FAO (1989): Household Food Security and Forestry: An Analysis of Socio-economic Issues.
Rome, pp 88-99.
[15] FAO (1996): Food and Agricultural Organization, Rome Declaration on World Food Security.
World Food Summit, November 13-17, 1996, Rome
[16] FAO, (2000): Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The State of Food and
Agriculture, Rome, Italy.
[17] FAO (2006): Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Millennium
Development Goals Report, 2006. United Nations, New York.
[18] FGN (2006): Federal Government of Nigeria, Ministry of Information and National
Orientation, Abuja, Legislative Arm of Government in Nigeria.
[19] FOS (1999): Poverty Profile for Nigeria, 1980-1996. Federal Office of Statistics, Nigeria.
[20] IDRC (1991): Gender, Land and Livelihood in East Africa; Through Farmers’ Eyes.
[21] IITA (1990): Cassava in Tropical Africa: A Reference Manual. Ibadan: IITA.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[22] Ikpi, A.E. (1988): Understanding the Nigerian Rural Farmer for Effective Agricultural
Technology Adoption and Impact Modeling. Research report, IITA, Ibadan.
[23] Kihmi, A (2004): Gender and Intrahousehold Food Allocation in Southern Ethiopia. Discussion
Paper No. 9.04, the Center for Agricultural Economic Research, September 2004
[24] KWADP (1998): Crop Annual Yield Report. Kwara State Agricultural Development Projects,
Annual Reports. Pp10.
[25] KWSG (1985): Government of Kwara State of Nigeria, Planning Studies in Kwara State.
Ministry of Land and Regional Planning, Ilorin.
[26] NAERLS (1994): National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services, South West
Zonal Extension Briefs, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Nigeria. (1):7, pp. 1-2.
[27] Niehof, A. (2002): Gendered Dynamics of Food Security. Aprodev Good Conference Report
[28] Okojie, E.E. (1981): An Economic Analysis of Labour Supply of Women in Benin City.
Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, Department of Economics University of Ibadan, pp 184
[29] Okore, A.O. (1987): Some Observations on Female Occupational Structure and Labour Force
Participation in Eastern Nigeria. In Onu, F.A.A and P.I.C Makinwa (eds) Integrated Rural
Development in Nigeria and Women’s Role, pp. 287-298.
[30] Olawoye, J.E. (1989): Difficulties for Rural African Women to Secure Access to Resources for
Agricultural Production: Two Case Studies from Oyo State, Nigeria.
[31] Owotoki, G.M (2005): Gender Differences in Households Resource Allocation and Its Impact
on Food Security: A Case Study of Kwara State, Nigeria. Unpublished M.Sc Thesis, University
of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany. Pp 75
[32] Panin, A and Brummer, B (2000): Gender Differentials in Resource Ownership and Crop
Productivity of Small Holder Farmers in Africa: A Case Study, Quarterly Journal of
International Agriculture, 39(1): 93-107
[33] Quisumbing, A (1996): Male-Female Differences in Agricultural Productivity. World
Development, (24): 1575-1595
[34] Saito, A.K (1994): Raising the Productivity of Women Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, World
Bank Discussion Paper. Africa Technical Department Series No. 230
[35] Sanusi, R.A; Badejo, C.A and Yusuf, B.O (2006): Measuring Household Food Insecurity in
Selected Local Government Areas of Lagos and Ibadan, Nigeria. Pakistan Journal of
Nutrition, 5(1): 62-67
[36] Scoones, I. (2000): Sustainable Rural livelihoods: A Framework for Analysis. IDS Working
Paper 72
[37] Sivard, R. (1985): Women-A World Survey: World Priorities. Washington D. C, USA.
[38] Standing, G. (1978): Labour Force Participation and Development. International Labour
Organization, Geneva
[39] Standing, G. and Sheehan, G. (1978): Labour Force Participation in Low Income Countries.
International Labour Organization, Geneva pp 137-164.
[40] Ukeje, E. (2003): Modernizing Small Holder Agriculture to Ensure Food Security and Gender
Empowerment: Issues and Policy http://www.g24.org/ukeje.pdf
[41] UNICEF (1998): The State of the World’s Children: Focus on Nutrition, Oxford University
[42] Walker, E. (1985): Survey of Compound Farms in South-Eastern Nigeria. Research
Monograph, Owerri.
[43] Wattenbach, H. and Friedrich, K.H. (2001): Farming Systems Indicators for Sustainable
Natural Resources Management. FAO, Rome
[44] WHO (1995): World Health Organization 1995 Physical status: The Use and Interpretation of
Anthropometry. WHO Technical Report Series No. 854. Geneva. Switzerland.
[45] World Bank (1997): A New Agenda for Women’s Health and Nutrition, Washington, D.C

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Income on

Dietary Calorie Intake in Nigeria

Babatunde. R. O
Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences (490b)
University of Hohenheim, D-70593 Stuttgart, Germany
E-mail: ralphag20@yahoo.com
Tel: +4971145924324

This paper analyzes the impact of income on calorie intake in Nigeria. The paper was based
on secondary data covering the period 1970-2003 and was obtained from Central Bank of
Nigeria and the National Bureau of Statistics. The result revealed that domestic food
production and per capita income were the significant determinants of dietary calorie intake
in Nigeria. The result brings to focus the need to increase domestic food production in
order to increase calorie intake and reduce the present level of food insecurity in the
country. It also shows the need for increased income so as to increase the purchasing power
of households which could allow them increase their calorie intake. Trend of food import,
food export and inflation rate revealed a high level of instability over time suggesting the
need for appropriate policies that would stabilize the trend. The calorie-income elasticity
was very low, implying that increased income alone may not be a sufficient way of
achieving improvement in calorie intake. As a result of this, a combination of policies that
would address food production, income and nutritional factors would be needed to increase
calorie intake and reduce food insecurity.

Keywords: Calorie intake, income, food import, food export, food security, Nigeria

1. Introduction
Food is the most basic of human needs for survival, health and productivity. It is the foundation for
human and economic development (Smith, Alderman and Aduayom, 2006). Hunger-an uneasy
sensation, exhausted condition, caused by want of food, remains a pervasive problem in developing
countries of the world and how to reduce it has been a major research objective in Sub-Saharan Africa
(SSA). This becomes more important especially after the declaration of the Millennium Development
Goals (MDG). While national governments are trying to direct available scarce resources towards
providing food for the people in need or enabling them to acquire it themselves, many researchers have
been trying to identify the determinants of food supply and the factors which enhance access to food
(Kijima, Matsumoto and Yamao, 2006).
Food insecurity-insufficient access by people to adequate food and nutrients has been identified
as the most important immediate cause of hunger (Smith, Alderman and Aduayom, 2006). One of the
indicators of food insecurity at the household and national levels is the amount of per capita dietary
calorie availability. The percentage of a country’s population that does not meet the minimum per
capita dietary calorie intake directly measures the prevalence of undernourishment. In Sub-Saharan
Africa as a whole, the prevalence of undernourishment was 32% in 2003. This translates to about 206
million undernourished people (FAO, 2006). This high rate of undernourishment is partly because in
most SSA countries, domestic food production is not up to the consumption level and as such is
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

inadequate in feeding the whole population (Adenegan, Oladele and Ekpo, 2004). Over the past
decades, many SSA countries have been net importer of food notably rice and other cereals. In 1991
for instance, total volume of cereals imported was 11.4 million tonnes and this has been more than
double by 2001 (Adenegan, Oladele and Ekpo, 2004).
In Nigeria, despite the fact that average dietary calorie intake has increased over the past two
decades, it is believed that over 40% of the population are still living below the minimum dietary
calorie intake. Average per capita calorie intake increased from 2050 kcal in 1979 to 2430 kcal in 1989
and further increased to 2700 kcal in 2003. As a result of this, the proportion of undernourished people
fell from 13% in 1992 to 9% in 2005 (FAO, 2006). Table 1 shows some of the food security-related
indicators in Nigeria. It is generally believed that agriculture is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy
and that it provides over 80% of the food needs of the country. The neglect of the agricultural sector by
successive government has led to a decline in per capita domestic food production, thereby creating a
gap between national food supply and demand. Food importation has been increasing and this has
created a lot of concern with regards to increased share of food import bill in total Gross Domestic
Product (GDP).

Table 1: Food security related indicators in Nigeria

Selected Indicators Mean Value

Food energy intake (kcal/capita/day) 2700 (2003)
Percentage of population living below 1 US dollar per day 70.8 (2003)
Percentage of population living below national poverty line 60 (2000)
Poverty gap ratio (%) 34.5 (2003)
Income inequality (Gini coefficient) 0.51 (1997)
Food consumption inequality (Gini coefficient) 0.15 (1995)
Percentage of undernourished people 9 (2005)
Number of undernourished people (millions) 11.5 (2005)
Percentage of children (under 5 years) underweight 28.7 (2003)
Percentage of children stunted 38.3 (2003)
Percentage of children wasted 9.3 (2003)
Percentage of children overweight 3.6 (2003)
Share of food expenditure in total expenditure (%) 61 (1990)
Infant mortality rate (per 1000 live births) 98.8 (2005)
Under five mortality rate (per 1000 live births) 198 (2003)
Source: FAO (2006).

The level of dietary calorie intake is believed to be determined by several factors including food
accessibility, food availability, food utilization and food stability. Food access is determined by income
and market factors. Income level determines the quantity and quality of food consumed and the
composition of the diet (Gross, Schultink and Kielmann, 1999). As the basis of the household
purchasing power, income determines food intake particularly for households that are non food
producer and this underscores the importance of a country’s per capita income in dietary calorie intake
and food consumption. There is a high degree of income inequality and the real per capita income
fluctuates over the year in Nigeria. This has serious impact on food consumption by the larger
percentage of the population.
The overall objective of this paper is to analyze the impact of income on per capita dietary
calorie intake in Nigeria. Specifically, the study examines the impact of real per capita income and
other variables such as domestic food production, food import, food export and inflation on dietary
calorie intake and makes recommendations based on the result of the analysis. The rest parts of the
paper are structured as follows. Section 2 discusses data source and methodology used. Section 3
discusses the result-both descriptive and regression results, while section 4 concludes the paper.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

2. Data and Methodology

The data used for this study were obtained from secondary sources. The bulk of the data were obtained
from various publications such as Statistical Bulletin of the National Bureau of Statistic (NBS), Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Annual Reports and Statement of Accounts, CBN Economic and Financial
Reviews and CBN Statistical Bulletin. The data collected cover the period between 1970-2003 and
were analyzed using descriptive and econometric techniques. Specifically, means and summary
statistics were calculated and described over time. In addition, graphs showing the trend in per capita
calorie intake and the determinants were used to analyze the movement of these variables from 1970-
2003. This makes sense because graphical methods are generally believed to be good for showing
growth of variables in time series data (Adenegan, Oladele and Ekpo, 2004).
In addition to the descriptive analysis, per capita calorie intake was modeled as a function of
per capita income, domestic food production, food import, food export and inflation in the econometric
analysis. The aim is to examine the influence of these variables on calorie intake at the national level in
Nigeria. Three functional forms of the model were fitted to the data. Econometric and statistical criteria
were used in selecting the model that best fit the data. The implicit form of the model is expressed as:
DCI = dietary calorie intake in kilocalorie/day
DFO = domestic food output in thousand metric tonnes
FIMP = food import in million Naira
FEXP = food export earning in million Naira
PCI = per capita income in Naira
INFL = inflation rate in percentage
From theoretical consideration, it is expected that an increase in domestic food output, food
import and per capita income should lead to an increase in per capita calorie intake, while an increase
in food export and inflation is expected to reduce per capita calorie intake. Population, which is
important in per capita calorie intake, was not included as a right-hand variable because, the income
variable was measured in per capita and this implies that the total national income had been divided by
the population, indicating that the effect of population growth has been factor into the per capita
income component.

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. Descriptive Analysis
The descriptive analysis starts with the sample statistics of per capita calorie intake and the explanatory
variables over the period of 1970-2003. This is shown in table 2.

Table 2: Variable definitions and sample statistics: 1970-2003 (N = 34)

Variables Definition Mean value Standard deviation

Per capita calorie intake Daily per capita dietary energy intake in kilocalories/day 2210 411.0
Domestic food output Total domestic food production in 1000 metric ton 53447.1 34373.0
Food import Food import bill in million Naira 32248.2 52013.3
Food export Food export earning in million Naira 1469.5 2848.1
Per capita income Real per capita income in Naira 988.8 142.6
Inflation Inflation rate measure by consumer price index 20.9 17.3
Source: Computed from CBN (2005) Annual Report and Statistical Bulletin
Note: In 2006, 1 US Dollar = 120 Naira.

For the thirty-four year period, the average per capita calorie intake was 2210 kcal/day. This is
lower than the recommended minimum calorie intake of 2250 kcal/day. The average domestic food
production for the period was about 534 billion metric tones. This amount of domestic food production
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

was shared between local consumption and export. Though data on food export was not given in metric
tonne, it was observed that the average food export during the period amount to about 1.4 billion Naira.
The average food import bill was about 32.2 billion naira for the reference period. By comparing food
import bill with food export earning, it can be seen that Nigeria was a net importer of food during the
period under review. This confirms the earlier report that for the past few decades most Sub-Saharan
Africa countries have been net food importer (Adenegan, Oladele and Ekpo, 2004). The average rate of
inflation was 21%. Judging by the coefficient of variation (CV), it can be shown that food export with
a CV of 1.93 was the most varied determinant of calorie intake followed by food import with a CV of
1.61. Inflation rate rank third with a CV of 0.82.
Table 3 shows the change in average per capita calorie intake and its determinants from 1970-
2003. It can be seen from the table that average per calorie intake was highest in the period 1998-2003,
even higher than the recommended minimum dietary intake of 2250 kcal/day. Many factors including
the various economic and agricultural reforms could be responsible for this. Similarly, total domestic
food production and food import were highest during the period 1998-2003. Though it is surprising for
domestic food production and food import to move in the same direction, it may be one of the reasons
responsible for the high calorie intake witnessed during this period.

Table 3: Change in average per capita calorie intake and its determinants (1970-2003)

Per capita calorie Total domestic Per capita

Food import Food export Inflation
Periods intake food output income
(kcal/day) (1000 metric ton) (N m) (N m) (N) (%)
1970-1976 1939.2 25539 180.4 66.5 1063.4 15.2
1977-1983 1741.7 17799.4 1389.0 207.9 998.0 15.0
1984-1990 2083.8 42918.7 1814.2 912.9 827.4 21.0
1991-1997 2632.8 82900.4 44020.7 4856.9 994.0 40.3
1998-2003 2728.3 105516.7 127435.1 1275.8 1073.5 11.5
Source: Computed from CBN (2005) Annual Report and Statistical Bulletin
Note: In 2006, 1 US Dollar = 120 Naira.

Food export earning was highest between 1991-1997. The average export earning during this
period was about five billion Naira. Average per capita income was highest during the 1991-1997
periods, while average inflation rate was lowest during the same period. The 1991-1997 period was
unusually difficult for the average consumer in Nigeria as the average consumer price index was
highest at 40.3%.
The trend in per capita calorie intake and the determinants are shown in figures 1 to 6. Figure 1
shows that per capita calorie intake fell from early 1970s to late 1970s. It fell to about 1500 kcal/day in
1981 and rose steadily afterward to over 2500 kcal/day in 2003. Domestic food production stagnated at
below 20 billion metric tonnes between 1977 to 1983 but rose steadily from mid 1980s to about 120
billion metric tonnes in 2003. Between 1970 and 1991, food import was low, but it increased gradually
to 160 billion Naira in 2001. In the same way, food export earning was low between 1970 and 1985, it
however, begin to rise after 1985 up to 1995 when it was highest at over 14 billion Naira from where it
fell again. Per capita income was high between 1970 and 1980, but fell gradually after 1980. After
1985, it increased marginally and by 2003, it was a little over 1000 Naira. Trend of inflation shows that
it rose and fell alternately between 1970 to 1995 when it was highest at over 70%. In 2003, it was
about 14%.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Figure 1: Trend in per capita calorie intake in Nigeria (1970-2003)


P er capita calorie inta






1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000

P er capita calorie intake

Figure 2: Trend in total domestic food production in Nigeria (1970-2003)

14 0 000

12 0 000
D om estic fo od outp
(/1 00 0 m e tric tonn e

10 0 000

8 0 00 0

6 0 00 0

4 0 00 0

2 0 00 0

197 0 197 5 1 98 0 1 985 199 0 199 5 200 0
Total dom estic food output

Figure 3: Trend in food import in Nigeria (1970-2003)

Food import bill (Naira millio

1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000
Food import bill

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Figure 4: Trend in food export in Nigeria (1970-2003)


Food export earnings


(Naira million)
1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000
Food export earning

Figure 5: Trend in per capita income in Nigeria (1970-2003)

Per capita income (Nair

1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000
Per capita income

Figure 6: Trend in inflation rate in Nigeria (1970-2003)

Inflation rate (%

1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000

Inflation rate

3.2. Regression result

Considering the three regression functions fitted to the data, the Double-log function was selected as
the lead equation. The regression estimates and the model statistics are shown in table 4. Judging by
the value of the coefficient of determinant (R2), the lead equation reveals that about 95% of the
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

variation in per capita dietary calorie intake was explained by domestic food output, food import, food
export, per capita income and inflation. The F-value of 109.1 is significant at 1% level indicating the
statistical significance of the overall regression equation. The Durbin-Watson statistic, which is used to
determine the existence or otherwise of serial correlation (or autocorrelation) is 1.82 and does not fall
between the lower and upper critical values of dl = 1.13 and du = 1.81 for a sample size of 34 and 5
explanatory variables. This implies that there is no existence of autocorrelation in the data.

Table 4: Regression result of dietary calorie intake model in Nigeria 1970-2003 (N = 34)

Functional forms/Explanatory variables Linear function Semi-log function Double-log function

Domestic food output (/1000 metric tonne) 0.014*** (12.87) 560.9*** (12.67) 0.279*** (13.24)
Food import (Naira million) -0.002** (-2.85) 10.8 (0.84) -0.003 (-0.54)
Food export (Naira million) 0.016** (2.01) 1.62 (0.11) 0.002 (0.38)
Per capita income (Naira) 0.211 (1.69) 353.0*** (2.83) 0.162** (2.73)
Inflation (%) -1.11 (-0.80) -1.14 (-0.05) -0.002 (-0.17)
Constant 1300.8*** (9.72) -6308.2*** (-6.54) 3.60*** (7.84)
R2 0.957 0.954 0.951
R-2 0.949 0.946 0.942
F-value 124.7 118.3 109.1
Prob>F 0.000 0.000 0.000
Durbin-Watson 1.35 1.52 1.82
***,**, indicate coefficient significant at 1%, and 5% level respectively. Figures in parenthesis are t-values. Dependent variable = per capita dietary
energy intake. Note: In 2006, 1 US Dollar = 120 Naira.

With regards to the explanatory variables, the model result shows that the coefficient of total
domestic food output is positive and significant at 1% level. This makes sense because higher domestic
food output translates to higher food availability which could mean increased calorie intake at the
national level. The implication of this is that, other things being equal, higher food production would
translate to higher dietary calorie intake in Nigeria. The coefficient of per capita income is positive and
significant at 5% level. This indicates that other things being equal, higher income would lead to higher
dietary calorie intake. This result agrees with apriori expectation and other similar studies which have
concluded that income is one of the important variables that determines calorie intake (Taffesse et al,
2000; Smith and Haddad, 2002; Aromolaran, 2004).
From theory, it has been shown that in the Double-log regression equation, the coefficient of
independent variables indicate elasticity. Therefore, from this result, the calorie-income elasticity in
Nigeria was 0.16 implying that a 1% increase in per capita income would lead to about 0.2% increase
in calorie intake. This is consistent with other empirical results such as that of Behrman and Deolalikar
(1987), which reported very low calorie-income elasticity in India. Furthermore, this result has
implication for the search for effective options for increasing food calorie intake among the poor
segment of the population. The implication is that income increase would have very little impact on
increasing calorie intake. The coefficient of food import, food export and inflation were not significant,
even at 10% level. The constant term (intercept) is 3.60 and it is significant at 1% level. This indicates
that even at zero production and income, a minimum level of calorie is necessary to maintain life.

4. Conclusion
This study has examined the determinants of calorie intake in Nigeria. The study was based on
secondary time series data covering 1970-2003. The data were collected from Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The study brings out the following conclusions.
First, the study has shown the need to increase domestic production of food to increase calorie
intake and reduce the present level of food insecurity. Formerly, in Nigeria the shortfall in domestic
output of food had been balanced by food importation especially cereals and livestock products,
however, with the recent ban on importation of certain food items, including partial ban on rice and
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

poultry products, there is an urgent need for increase domestic food production. To achieve this would
require measures such as increased expenditure on agricultural research, provision of irrigation
facilities and provision of credit and inputs at subsidized rate to farmers. Resources that were
committed to food importation before could be redirected to provision of these services to boost
domestic food production.
Second, the study also shows that to increase dietary calorie intake and reduce food insecurity,
there is need to increase income. The food that household consumes either comes from their own
production or from the market. Increased income could increase the purchasing power of individuals
and households which would enable them to demand for more food. More income earning
opportunities should be created and conducive environment for production and business development
should be guarantee by government. Finally, the study shows that though income increase is important
for increased food intake, the calorie-income elasticity was very low implying that other being equal,
increased income alone may not be sufficient for achieving improvement in calorie intake. As a result
of this, a combination of policies that would address food production, income and nutrition factors
would be needed to increase food intake and reduce food insecurity.

[1] Adenegan, K.O.; Oladele, I.O. and Ekpo, M.N. (2004): Impact of Agricultural Export on Food
Security in Nigeria. Food, Agriculture and Environment, 2 (1): 107-112
[2] Aromolaran, A.B. (2004): Intra-Household Redistribution of Income and Calorie Consumption
in South-Western Nigeria. Economic Growth Center, Yale University, Center Discussion Paper
Number 890
[3] Behrman, J.R. and A.B. Deolalikar (1987): Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with
Income? A Case Study for Rural South India. Journal of Political Economy, 95 (3): 108-138
[4] CBN (2005): Central Bank of Nigeria, Annual Report and Statement of Account, Various
[5] FAO (2006): Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Food Security
Statistics, Nigeria 2006.
[6] Gross, R; Schultink, W. and Kielmann, A.A. (1999): Community Nutrition: Definition and
Approaches. In: Encylopedia of Human Nutrition. Sadler, M; Strain, J.J and Caballero, B
(Eds.). Academic Press Ltd, London, 433-441
[7] Kijima, Y.; Matsumoto, T. and Yamano, T. (2006): Nonfarm Employment, Agricultural Shocks
and Poverty Dynamics: Evidence from Rural Uganda. Agricultural Economics, 35: 459-467
[8] Smith, L.C. and Haddad, L. (2002): How Potent is Economic Growth in Reducing
Undernutrition? What Are the Pathways of Impact? New Cross-Country Evidence.
Mimeograph, Economic Development and Cultural Change, The University of Chicago, USA.
[9] Smith, L.C.; Alderman, H. and Aduayom, D. (2006): Food Insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa:
New Estimates from Household Expenditure Surveys. Research Report 146, International Food
Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C
[10] Taffesse, Y.; Ayalew, H.; Tebeb, N and W.M. Girma (2000): Impact of Income Growth on
Household Protein and Calorie Intake in Addis Ababa. East African Medical Journal, 77 (10):

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Solidarity-Based Economy in Spain: A Corporate Social

Responsibility Perspective

José Luis. Retolaza

Aurkilan Business Ethics Research Institute
E-mail: retolaza@integracooperativa.com

Maite. Ruiz
Financial Economic II Department, University of Basque CountryBilbao (Spain)
E-mail: maite.ruiz@ehu.es

Ph. D. Leire. San Jose

Financial Economic II Department, University of Basque Country, Bilbao (Spain)
E-mail: leire.sanjose@ehu.es

This paper analyses in a Corporate Social Responsibility perspective the situation of
solidarity based enterprises, companies that are born not with economic motivation, but to
satisfy a social aim. The different concepts related to the Solidarity Economy are reviewed
in this paper, as well as their characteristic differentials; not only as opposed to the
mercantile economy, possibly much more clear, but also with respect to the social economy
and the denominated Third Sector. The dimension of the Solidarity Economy in Spain-
Basque Country serves as referring being able to watch like a realistic although minority
alternative, and not like a mere testimonial casuistry.

Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Solidarity Economy, Solidarity based


In Spain in the last decade, as in many other European countries, there is a movement, called as
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Most of companies give high importance to the reputation of
the corporation and the obtaining of competitive advantages to be the major driving forces of CSR. But
some purpose of the firms beyond making money and sounded to heresy, and concepts as those of
balance or social audit were known only by some initiates. Nowadays there is a high focus in the study
of the CSR (Cochran & Wood, 1984; Wood, 1991; Carroll, 1999; McWilliams & Siege, 2000; Joyner
& Paine, 2002; De Bettignies, 2002; Carroll & Buchholtz, 2002; Perrini et al., 2006), although Bowen
(1953, p. 6) provided the first modern contribution to this topic “it refers to the obligations of
businessmen to pursue those policies, to make those decisions, or to follow those lines of action which
are desirable in terms of the objectives and values of our society”. In this sense, corporate decision
making processes have to consider not only the economic dimension, but also social aspects. Actually,
economic purpose of the company coexists, in greater or smaller degree, with the social purpose of the
same one.
This paper shows the superior limit of the CSR, and the Solidarity-based economy as it puts
utopian. Concretely, in Social Responsibility the main exposition is the consideration of the central
responsibility of the company as the generation of benefits, but due to the increasing power of the
consumers is necessary the one that the companies are responsible socially, so that they are not
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

“punishment”; by these; or in its positive dimension because the consumers are inclined to buy to
companies with some social commitment. This subsidiary exposition of the CSR could be considered
from marketing understanding that the company must socially be responsible because this is good for
its image, its reputation, and really for sales (Simcic & Belliu, 2002).
However, in another perspective, the Social Responsibility of the company as a consubstantial
objective of the same one is considered from the Stakeholder´s Theory with a socially oriented
approach. The company is an organization who must respond to the interests of joint mixed of interest
groups (Freeman, 1984; Wood, 1991; Smith, 1994). The generation of benefits can be a totally
legitimate interest of the shareholders of a company, but suitable labour conditions are it also on the
part of the group of employees, and the quality of the product, or the security of the payments can be
legitimate exigencies of consumers and suppliers of any company. In this second meaning, basically,
the Social Responsibility happens to be an instrument to the service of the results, to become a central
objective of the company.
Carroll (1991) establishes four different and differentiated aspects of social responsibility,
called Pyramid of Social Responsibility. These four progressive levels in the Social Responsibility of
the Companies could be identified as following ones: 1) economic responsibility, 2) the legal
responsibility, 3) ethical responsibility and 4) the philanthropic. In the first level of responsibility we
would be with companies where the economic results are their only objective, being arranged to skip
the legality in those cases in that the result favours the benefits; in a second stage we would find the
companies involved with the economic results but that play honestly within the framework legal. In a
third level the company would normally assume an ethical commitment that goes beyond the legal one
and has always arguable character, with all or parts of his stakeholders. Finally, a stage of superior
level that Carroll denominates philanthropic, is which the company involves resources in the
realization of performances of support to social causes.
In spite of the different underlying expositions a company, to be responsible, necessarily must
be profitable (Wood, 1991), because only the yield is going to guarantee the generation of resources
sufficient to be able to take responsibility ethically faced with the diverse groups of stakeholder, or to
destine resources to altruistic or solidarity causes.
Nevertheless, another way exists to raise the Social Responsibility of the companies, that by
minority does not stop being interesting, are the Solidarity Companies, companies that are not created
to obtain yield, because they are without profit spirit, but to give answer to some social problem or to
generate positive an impact social. In this sense, this paper shows the existence and the constitution of
a type of companies that not only incorporate the Social Responsibility in their level more involved,
but also they are originated in the Social Responsibility.
In this context, this paper seeks to analyze the specific point of view of the CSR by Solidarity
based Economy. The concept of CSR gives rise to various definitions associated with the focus of the
implantation of CSR in the firms. It is a broader concept that could be explained from Solidarity-based
Economy. There is no previous evidence to determine the Solidarity-based Economy in the limits of
CSR. The provision of such evidence is the main contribution of this paper.
The paper is organized as follows: Section 2 examines previous research about the concept of
Solidarity Economy as well as the limits with Social Economy and Third Sector and the families of
Solidarity Economy. Section 3 presents the data and the analysis procedure used to conduct the
empirical study. The results of the investigation are shown in Sections 4. Section 5 sets out the
principal conclusions, and the paper ends with a list of bibliographical references.

Solidarity Economy: Review of Literature

The concept of Solidarity Economy
Anywhere in the world the appearance of new companies under different legal forms that
fundamentally characterize by their search of justice and its absence of profit spirit is being developed.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

This new enterprise framework, generically denominated solidarity (Capron & Gray, 2000; Enciso &
Retolaza, 2004) try to give answer not only to the deficiencies in the model of European social well-
being, but also, and even mainly to the processes of inequality and exclusion generated by the
predominant logic in the capitalist economy of free market1.
The entities of Solidarity Economy cannot be identified by their legal form, because in the same
one they participate cooperatives, labour associations, foundations, societies, mercantile societies and
until some independent one. They are not possible either to be identified by his sector of activity
because, although some can occur in greater measurement, any sector can be object of the activity of a
located entity of this concept. And although all even shares preoccupation by the use and the quality of
he itself, these organizations could be created specifically for the creation of the most excluded
occupations for work integration social enterprises (Vidal, 2005; Vidal & Claver 2005), joined with
others that, in the opposed end, not generate occupations or these do not have anything to do with the
exclusion - as it is the case of some cooperatives of consumption or specialized organizations of
On the other hand, exists a clear denomination that it combines to all this type of companies,
because although with the passage of time the term of Solidarity Economy is prevailed with power, this
meaning still has an important variability according to the reference country and coexists with other
denominations such as New Social Economy (France)2, Popular Economy, Social and Solidarity-based
Companies of Social Initiative, Companies, Solidarity partner-economy, among others. Furthermore,
sometimes Third Sector is even in the common denominator of Social Economy or, to which can
belong the organizations in some cases taking care of its concrete legal form.
To understand better the concept and its evolution we are going to follow the description of it
made by Retolaza et al. (2004) related to its evolution in Spain.
Firstly, it is necessary to show that at the end of Nineties in Basque Country-Spain, Traperos de
Emaus of Iruña (Pamplona-Spain) begin to talk about the Marginal Social Company, in an attempt to
compare the social exclusion with handicaps legally recognized. In the first years3 of the following
decade the term falls in disuse by its own marginality and the concept of Solidarity-based enterprises is
developed that will be a reference concept until the present time, although from the beginning of the
millennium, the organizations that invigorate the process4 have been praised off a progressive form by
using the concept of Solidarity Economy, extensive as far as their reach, more specific as far as their
meaning, and possibly more revolutionary.

The common characteristics to these organizations would be the following ones: a) institutionalized, in terms of the
own organizational structure, independently of the legal formalization; b) private, in the sense to constitute a separated
structure of the government. Which does not mean that, under certain circumstances, these organizations cannot receive
governmental support, or that used and officials government cannot be members of the same ones; c) no lucrative, as
soon as that does not distribute to benefits between their members or directors. However, they can accumulate benefits
like product of his operations, with the obligation of reinvest them or destining them to the fulfilment of his specific
mission, and never to the distribution between his members; d) self-governed, that is to say, that has their own control
systems and maintains the autonomy and the control of their own actions; e) voluntary, or that they involve in many
cases, of significant form the participation of collaborators no repaid; f) nonreligious, in the sense that its fundamental
aim is not tie with the own development of the religion or its beliefs, although is not excluded, absolutely, the
organizations promoted or tie by churches; g) none favour, in the sense of not being destined to impose no political
idea, nor to reach the power in the State, although the possible organizations promoted from the political parties are not
The meaning of New Economy was introduced with force in France (Crapron & Gray, 2000), and in Spain Perez
(2000); having certain acceptance in university scopes that they have drunk of French sources; despite the Castilian
identification in of new economy with the emergent sector of Internet and its little use at street level it has practically
taken to the disappearance of this term.
In 1994 it takes place in Beire (Navarrese) Conferences supported by Aurkilan and Gaztelan (two Spanish foundations
to improve the social and solidarity based economy) in which the bases of the concept of Shared in common Social
Company are put, being referring of the movement during enough years.
See REAS (Network of Shared in common Alternative Economy) Spain for more information (www.reasnet.com).
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

The initial characteristics of the Social Solidarity-based Companies: 1) to foment the insertion,
2) not to have profit spirit, 3) to be apart of it, and 4) to be ecological, through diverse dynamics
complementary like the creation and development of the European Network of Alternative and
Solidarity Economy, the Encounters biennials of Solidarity Economy of Cordoba that begin in 1995,
the development of Carta emprendedor por un mundo solidario5; and, mainly the creation of the
Network of solidarity Alternative Economy (REAS) of Spain, has happened in their replacement by the
extensive concept but of solidarity Economy, characterized by the six gathered basic principles in
mentioned document. They are; 1) Equality: Understood as the satisfaction of way balanced of the
interests of all the protagonists interested in the activities of the company or the organization; 2) Use:
understood as the objective is to create stable occupations and to favour the access to worked against or
little qualified people; assuring to each member the personnel conditions of work and a worthy
remuneration, stimulating its personal development and its taking of responsibilities; 3) Commitment
with the environment: understood like favouring actions, products and methods of production that they
do not injured the environment in the short and in the long term; 4) Cooperation: understood like to
favour the cooperation instead of the competition inside and outside the organization; 5) Commitment
with the surroundings: understanding that the solidarity initiatives will be totally directed in the social
surroundings in which they are developed, which demands the cooperation with other organizations
who support diverse problems of the territory and the implication in networks, like a way to the
solidarity experiences can generate a model socioeconomic alternative; and 6) Without profit spirit:
understanding that the solidarity initiatives will not have the objective of benefits, but the human and
social promotion, which not mean so that it is essential balancing the account of income and expenses,
and even, if it is possible, the obtaining of benefits. However, the possible benefits will not be
distributed for particular benefit, but that will be reverted to the society by the support to social
projects, new solidarity initiatives or programs of cooperation to the development, among others.
Complementarily on a international-way basis, World-wide the Social Forum from 2002 it is
generalizing the term of Solidarity Economy, at least in the countries of Hispanic speech, although its
meaning is perhaps more extensive than to which we are making reference here. In this sense the
Intercontinental Network of Promotion of the Social and Solidarity Economy (RIPESS) with its
international encounters of annual character has contributed to the diffusion the concept, defining the
Social and Solidarity Economy like “the set of activities and economic practices with social purpose
that contributes to a new way to think and to live economy” (adopted by RIPESS in the First Encounter
the International on globalization of the solidarity celebrated in Lima in 1997). In that moment the
value of Solidarity Economy is little delimited in a terminology sense, but as definition could
considerate appropriate, REAS one, who consider it like “the partner economic, cultural and
environmental system developed of individual or collective form through solidarity, participative
practices, humanists and without spirit of profit for the integral development of the human like an aim
of economy”. However, this conception is too extensive to identify the system of good practices to
which they would make reference, and that could be made specific of descriptive way along the six
basic viewpoint already mentioned, and the complementary viewpoint.
There are other requirements, that they are not necessary, but they could be recommended to
assume because they are high valued by practices in the Companies of Solidarity Economy. They are
the following ones (See Table 1):

It is adopted in the Assembly of Malaga (2000) in the framework of redefinition of REAS like Network of Networks as
delegation of Euskalerria REAS, that had elaborated it and approved previously in a Board of directors of he himself
year. The Letter to undertake by a Solidarity World is born within the framework of the European initiative Horizon,
more concretely within the frame of one of the transnacionalities composed by: three Spanish centres (Ataretaco,
Trinijove and Fundación Deixalles), three Belgian centres (Hefboom, SAW and Tremplin 2000) and two centres of
France (GIEPP and Agora).
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 1: Practices in Solidarity Economy based Companies (Sichar, 2003).

Solidarity Economy based Companies: Principles

1) The products, services, battles propose or conducted by the company/solidarity organization contribute to improve the
quality of life.
2) It must be integrated in his local scope from the economic, social and ecological point of view. It must tend to decrease
the indirect expenses in charge of the community. It regularly engages in a dialog with the groups or people by means
of his actions, products, services or their processes of production.
3) Enterprise/organization manages of the possible most independent way with respect to the powers public or to
everything third organization although this one finance it.
4) It adopts a tactically important position with respect to the excesses induced by the productive race, the technological
competitiveness and investments.
5) It develops to commercial relations rights.
6) The circulation of the information is assured inside and outside the company/organization. It is related to the financial
and human aspects of the management, the development strategies, the hierarchic structure of the organization, his
impact in the society.
7) The workers will be associated to the decisions that concern their work or the future of the company. Processes will
favour the internal democracy, among others in formation terms.
8) The differences of maximum salary will be defined and controlled collectively.
9) Formulas of distribution of tasks accompanied by the creation of occupations will be created.
10) It will lend a particular attention to the quality of the work and an improvement in the qualification of all the
personnel, thanks, in particular, to the evaluations, the formation and the adapted instruments of work.
11) Of having volunteers in the organization, a collective reflection will be carried out on the paper of the voluntary
military service and its conditions of work. They will have guaranteed a correct integration and a formation.
Nevertheless, the priority will be centred in the access to the remunerated work.
12) The company/organization supports solidarity initiatives undertaken in the groups or ceased to favour regions.

Limits with Social Economy and the Third Sector

There are not only organizations that are defined to them inside the Solidarity Economy. The firms that
are considering it shared in common have legal forms related to the Social Economy, neither with the
Third Sector. It is not clear what the limits are and what is the relation between Social Economy and
Third Sector, so there are two realities of general character (Laville & Nyssens, 2000; Lynn, 2006).
Previous perspective of Social Economy establishes that it would be possible to be defined
based on the legal form adopted, so historically Social Economy has been only considered to the
companies with legal form of cooperative, public limited company and labour limited society.
However, in countries of Europe this conception is being broken. Social Economy is not understand in
most of Europe countries, including Basque Country, like mere legal formula, but it is understand in
the narrowest sense of entailment as a trade union form.
However, in the set of Europe and more concretely in Spain, this conception based on society
form begins to be diluted. As it shows, it is possible to indicate that the Enterprise Confederations of
Social Economy (CEPES) are admitting like partners to organizations that legally are not included in
the Social Economy.
From this perspective, not only legal, but based on values and principles, it would be possible
to consider the possible inclusion of the Solidarity Economy in the Social Economy, reasonable
because they share a very important percentage in the values that is sublime to both conceptions. In
fact, the Solidarity Economy could - and in fact for assuming the following cooperative principles (See
Table 2):

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 2: Cooperative principles.

Cooperative Principles establishes by CECOP (2002)

1) Voluntary and opened adhesion.
2) Democratic management on the part of the partners.
3) Economic Participation of the partners.
4) Autonomy and independence.
5) Education, formation and information.
6) Cooperation between cooperatives.
7) Interest by the Community.

Therefore, there are some mutual aspects between Solidarity Economy and Social Economy, so
it cannot say that there are two different realities. Doubtlessly, the reach and development of the
Solidarity Economy is greater than the development of Social Economy. In this sense, could be logical
sense to determinate that Solidarity Economy is a specific part of the Social Economy.
Nevertheless, it is important to explain the specificity of the Solidarity Economy. First of all,
Solidarity Economy is not simply a group of entities inside Social Economy. Secondly, in the case that
the conceptualization is being with capitalist or nonlucrative (with exception done of the cooperatives
of social initiative, that still represent a recent reality in the panorama in Spain) perspective, the
specificity of Solidarity Economy is evident. Thirdly, and the most important one, the Solidarity
Economy difference and contributes to the rest of the Social Economy, by the way of its indeed
solidarity character. The constitution and performance of Solidarity based enterprises do not look for
never ever the benefit of the promotional partners, because the fundamental performance of this type of
organizations is give services and obtain a form to help to the work inclusion of the employees. This
characteristic is not absolutely a common requisite of the Social Economy, there are Social firms that
have not as aim give services and help employees to the work insertion. It supposes a differential
characteristic, a specific scope within the Social Economy, called by the society as Solidarity based
Economy enterprises. Therefore, the same one the no lucrative character necessarily of the constituted
organization is come off.
In some way, the Social Economy creates and has created -inspired by such principles that the
Solidarity Economy is a system of solidarity between the participants, extended sometimes to the scope
of the cooperative- inter cooperation or the localization by territory. Furthermore, there is a system of
external solidarity which aim is give services and help people with disabilities and specific difficulties,
personal and social. This situation determinates another characteristic, that if nonessential, at least it
has been historical point and very importance. It is the entailment of the Solidarity Economy with the
processes of work insertion and personal development.
The differentiation between Solidarity Economy and Third Sector (organizations without profit
spirit, traditionally with legal formula of Associations or Foundations) is important to limit the position
of the Solidarity Economy. Solidarity based Economy firms are identified as “without spirit of profit”,
in this sense they could be localized in the Third Sector. But there are two different firms’ system
models in the Third Sector:
1. The European continental one of French origin, transferred to Canada and Latin America
(with its blending), in which the expression is used synonymous Social Economy and Third
Sector as and includes the cooperatives, mutual benefit society and the associations.
2. The NPO Model (non-profit sector or non-profit organizations), of Anglo-Saxon origin,
with strong implantation in the United States, in which organizations are fitted who fulfil
certain requirements (according to the model established by the University Johns Hopkins
and his prestigious study on the matter).
Levi (2004), distinguishes exhaustibly the preservative and transforming organizations of the
third sector, despite a previous comparison between third sector has occurred and social economy
whose acceptance although can be possible in countries like France, is not it absolutely in the Anglo-
American scope and it even is quite debatable in the world of Hispanic speech.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Furthermore, the own denomination of third sector is confused, between the private sector and
the public sector. This concept comes from the system of national accounting proposed by United
Nations where; the government or public sector is the sector based on the general interest on the
primary firms; the private sector is based on the spirit of profit like the secondary one. It would be left
therefore a third sector, whose definition is rather negative, that is to say, not including in the previous
ones. But Solidarity Economy shares with Social Economy all of values and principles accepted by
Social Economy and Third Sector does not. Because Third Sector groups several organizations with
diverse ideologies, but without an unique philosophy; some of these firms are included on a “more
righter” model of economy or on a solidarity society, other firms are included on existing capitalism
model, and most of them are included on a system which main purpose is the interest and the benefit of
the owners –economic variable-, although this is not the main aim and main factor of this type of firms.
Finally, the Solidarity Economy takes some differential characteristics that give rise to establish
the Solidarity Economy as a specific subgroup of the Social Economy. Moreover, the Solidarity
Economy shows an important intersection with the Third Sector that would be interesting to
considerate, because there are a lot of companies in Third Sector. The following figure shows
graphically a map of the different concepts around the Social Economy and Solidarity Economy.

Figure 1: Social Economy in the widest sense

Social Economy in the widest sense


Labour Public Limited Company
Labour Limited Company Commercial company

Social integration Cooperatives

Nonprofit Labour company Solidarity based
Social entities companies
Specific Centres to employment/ SOLIDARITY-BASED
workshops ECONOMY

Resource: own elaboration

Families of Solidarity Economy

The concept of Solidarity Economy is quite extensive and includes organizations of very diverse type;
therefore, the following figure shows the structure of the organizations.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Figure 2: The classification of Solidarity Economy entities.

Solidarity-based Economy Families



Special Centres
Promoters NGO Social Company to employment

Fair Trade
Solidarity-based Workshops

Work integration Without work

Social enterprises integration Final step WISE
(WISE) Social enterprises

Resource: own elaboration

Solidarity Economy differentiates four groups or families based on their social object. They are
the following ones (Mugarra, 2000; Retolada et al., 2004; Lukkarinen, 2005, among others):
1) Promotional organizations and solidarity companies, cantered in the scope of the insertion
labour partner of people in process, or with problems of exclusion.
2) Organizations of social initiative, that are those, fundamentally associations or foundations,
that they are born with the purpose of helping to solve some kind of social problem.
3) The organizations that foment the cooperation to the development, in their two slopes, the
majority one, through the execution of projects and programs in the own territory or the
country of destiny, and the one that do through the commercialization, in the scope of the
denominated commerce just.
4) Finally, in the fourth group we would have the ones offer occupation to people concerning
to groups with some legally recognized incapacity.
If the difference between social organizations of market and no market is implicated6, the
promotional organizations would be the organizations of social initiative, the NGO of development or
cooperation, and the factories protected, mainly would register in the scope of the social Economy of
no market, whereas the insertion companies, the stores of right commerce and the special centres of
occupation, would be located in the social economy of market, although based on greater or smaller
independence in its financing with respect to the government we could speak of companies oriented to
the market and oriented the government (Retolaza & Ruiz, 2005).

Data and Research Method

This study was conducted on Basque Country firms-Spanish firms. This research try to consider all of
the companies in this areas, so in Basque Country have been identified 45 companies. Forty-five
companies were selected, of which only 31 responded. The reasons of no respond of the rest of firms,
14 companies are the following ones:
1. Inability to establish contact with them, because there are problems in the identification of
the firms or the responsible is abroad (2 cases).

It is a differentiation established by European System of National Accounting that distinguished between market
subsector: companies with democratic organization and distribution of benefits that not contribute to the capital and
subsector of nonmarket, formed by private institutions deprived without lucrative aims to the service of homes
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

2. Demand for a personal meeting to provide the required data (2 cases).

3. Lack of persistence in obtaining data (in 10 cases).
Data were collected by means of telephone interviews, a method that ensures a high response
rate. To guarantee the highest possible number of replies, business respondents were made aware of the
study in advance by means of a letter indicating the purpose and importance of the study. In cases
where they were reluctant to reply or made excuses, a date and time were arranged in advance for the
telephone interview. The final response rate was approximately 68%, and the interviewees were the
persons responsible for the management of the firms, managers or administrators. The following table
summarizes the technical characteristics of the study.

Table 3: Technical characteristics of the study

Universe Basque Country Solidarity based economy firms-Spain

Sample The population (45 spanish firms)
Data Questionnaire and SABI Database
Date Performed Field work was carried out on November 2006
Margin of Error Em= ± 3.77% with a confidence level of 95%, p=q=0.5, for overall data

Methodology is basic in the investigation about social economy and solidarity base economy is
not an exception. In this context, it is possible to appear many problems related to social economy that
could improve very important challenges for investigation, as the related to aim of the firms, the
importance of their objectives, as well as, the services to the community. It is necessary then to analyze
the situation of solidarity base economies, because their importance in our economy is growing up,
taking an important share of the companies.

Results: On the CSR the Solidarity Based Enterprises

The Social Responsibility in Solidarity Economy
Face to face with the work that occupies to us, referred the social responsibility of the companies, we
will be centred exclusively in those of market, because the other organizations, either by their legal
form, or by its financial dependency of the Administration do not count on sufficient independence to
be able to develop a comparable process to the one of the enterprise social responsibility.
In relation to these companies, there is not doubt that the social responsibility, is not
instrumental, nor collateral, but that the same cause of its birth, instead of being due to the profit spirit,
habitual motivation of most of the companies that are created, is its origin in the necessity to respond in
positive form to some cause or social problem. Despite the Social Responsibility that is estimated to
them it would have to be resisted in his daily execution through some process of balance or social audit
(Mugarra, 2000; Owen et al., 2000), because the case that could occur the internal dimension of Social
Responsibility does not correspond with the adaptation of its external dimension. In fact the
dissociation between both dimensions is a habitual phenomenon of the Solidarity Economy (Retolaza
& Ruiz, 2005).

Social Responsibility of the Solidarity-based enterprises of Spain-Basque Country

On the basis of the classification previously indicated a study with the totality of the identified
population has been made, of which an answer of the 69% has been obtained. We have analysed the
billing of the firms to show the importance of this type of firms, Solidarity based Economy firms.
Concretely, in Basque Country, the total number of invoicing of the Solidarity Economy is of 174
million of Euro (see Table 4), representing the 0.25% of the total of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
This type of firms there are not a lot, but their impact is high because they grow up a total of 12,500
jobs, corresponds approximately 1.5% of the existing jobs or occupancy in Basque Country-Spain.
Another fact complementary, but very important too, is their grow share, that in the last decade
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

surpasses the 10% (annually measured). It is because these firms are composed by group of persons
that afford the economic exposition with a great dynamism.

Table 4: Information about solidarity based firms in Basque Country-Spain.

Variables Information
Billing 174,000,000 Euro
GDP 0.24% of GDP Basque country
Employment 12,500 Jobs
% Employees 1.4% Job Basque Country
Grow Share Growing more than 10% per annum

Another important aspect to show is the distribution by families (see Figure 3), which we have
commented before, the graphical reflects visually, as the special centres of employment generate 65%
of the jobs, followed of the promotional organizations and solidarity based firms that represent 17%;
with 14% of the share-jobs we find the organizations (NGO) with social aim, being far away the jobs,
only the 4%, created by the organizations of cooperation to the development (NGO cooperatives).
However, it is necessary to consider that in this last calculation it has not considered the destination
positions, only have been analysed the jobs or occupation located in Basque Country.

Figure 3: Employment distribution by families in Basque Country.

In relation to the type of companies (see Table 5), most of them are micro companies (less than
10 employees), but near 25% they are already medium companies (between 50 are 250 employees) and
the rest, 32% are small firms (between 10 and 50 employees). Most of these companies are focused in
social services or recuperation activities, 57%. The legal form of Solidarity based economies is used in
general enterprise formula, concretely 61% of the total percentage (cooperative, Pls and Ls). Most of
these firms are social enterprises, 51% (cooperatives and Pls). The billing per employee shows that
employee work is low appreciation, it could be one of the causes of the dissociation between the
internal and external perspective to which we have alluded previously in the theory part.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 5: The solidarity based enterprises: descriptive analysis of solidarity based firms

Variable Information
Micro: 45%
Size of the firm Small:32%
Médium: 23%
Industry Social services/recuperation 57%
Association: 23%
Foundation: 16%
Legal form Cooperative: 28%
P.L.S.: 23%
L.S.: 10%
Billing per employee 18.330 €

The composition and form of Solidarity based Economy firms have been done explaining the
average of employees by company. It is 45,84 (see Table 6). The principal jobs are occupied by
women, approximately 78% of the total staff are women, but nevertheless, in the directive positions
this relation is reversed, most of them are men (78% too). The average of employers of insertion by
company is of 7.3%, but very unequally distributed, since while the 58% do not have to any, rest 42
groups to 100%.

Table 6: The solidarity based enterprises: the information about their employees.

Variable Information
Average: 45,84 Median: 19
Women: 78% Men: 22%
Board of Directors Women: 22% Men:78%
Voluntary Average: 4,6 (10%)
Scholar 10%
Work Insertion Employees Average: 7,3

Concluding Remarks
This paper explores the reality of solidarity base enterprise in Spain-Basque Country, using a sample
approximately of the 70% of Basque Country-Spanish firms. The results of the study indicate that there
is evidence to support that these companies have done of the Social Responsibility his leit motiv. These
firms could be a reference of how a conventional company can get to imply itself in the Social
This paper has confirmed the important presence of Solidarity based firms in Basque Country-
Spain. The development of this type of firms in the last ten years shows that there is not a merely
marginal phenomenon with testimonial character; it is a new form to entrepreneurship and a new form
to understand the economy. It is a new economy in which the main objective is the social development
and the good, high and qualified services to the community.

Finally, a number of limitations in this research must be acknowledged. First, this article draws its
conclusions from a static moment with the limitation of using cross-sectional data. Another limitation
of the study is that the sample is based on a specific geographical area. Possible extensions to this
research could broaden the analysis to cover other countries.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[1] Bowen, H.R. (1953): Social responsibilities of the businessman. New York: Harper and
[2] Capron, M. & Gray, R. (2000): “Experimenting with assessing corporate social responsibility in
France: an exploratory note on and initiative by social economy firms”, The European
Accounting Review, Vol. 9, Nº 1, pp. 99-109.
[3] Carroll, A. (1991): “The pyramid of corporate social responsibility: toward the moral
management of organizational stakeholders”, Business Horizons, nº 4, pp: 39-48.
[4] Carroll, A.B. & Buchholtz, A.K. (2002): Business & Society: Ethics and stakeholder
management. 5th Edition. Mason, OH: Thomson-South Western.
[5] Carroll, A.B. (1999): “Corporate Social Responsibility. Evolution of a definitional construct”,
Business & Society, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 268-295.
[6] CECOP (2002) “Attempts at introducing the Social Economy in Europe”. (First European
Social Economy Conference in Central and Eastern Europe, Prague, 24-25/10.
[7] Cochran, P.L. & Wood, R.A. (1984): “Corporate Social Responsibility and financial
performance”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 27, Nº 1, pp. 42-56.
[8] De Bettignies, H.C. (2002): “Reviewing meanings and contexts of the role of business in
society in Launch of the European Academy of business in Society, Fontainebleau. INSEAD.
[9] Enciso, M. & Retolaza, J.L. (2004) “Capitulo 1: Conceptos de Economía Solidaria”; en
Mugara, A. (Ed.) “La Economía Solidaria y su inserción en la formación Universitaria”; ed.
Universidad de Deusto. Bilbao.
[10] Freeman, E. (1984): Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach. New York: Basic Books.
[11] Joyner, B. E. & Payne, D. (2002): “Evolution and implementation: A study of values, business
ethics and corporate social responsibility”, Journal of Business Ethics, Nº 41, pp. 297-311.
[12] Laville, J.L. & Nyssens, M. (2000): “Solidarity-based Third sector organizations in the
proximity services field: a European francophone perspective”, International Journal of
Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, Vol. 11, Nº 1, pp. 67-85.
[13] Levi, Y. (2004) “Sharpening the Notion of ‘Nonprofit’: the Social Enterprise”; ICA Research
Forum. Segorbe, 6-9 de Mayo.
[14] Lukkarinen, M. (2005): “Community development, local economic development and social
economy”, Community Development Journal, Vol. 40, Nº 4, pp. 419-424.
[15] Lynn, M. (2006): “Discourses of community: challenges for social work”, International
Journal of Social Welfare, Nº 15, pp. 110-120.
[16] McWilliams, A. & Siegel, D. (2000): “Corporate social responsibility and financial
performance: correlation or misspecification?”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 21, Nº 5,
pp. 603-609.
[17] Mugarra, A. (2000) “Planteamiento de un modelo de balance cooperativo: aplicación a
Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa”, Anuario de Estudios Cooperativos. Universidad de
Deusto. Bilbao.
[18] Owen, D.L.; Swifth, T.A.; Humphrey, C. & Bowerman, M. (2000): “The new social audits:
accountability, managerial capture or the agenda of social champions?”, The European
Accounting Review, Vol. 9, Nº 1, pp. 81-89.
[19] Perez, E. (2000): “Manual de creación y gestión de empresas de inserción”; Ed. University of
Oviedo. Spain.
[20] Perrini, F., Pgutz, S. & Tencati, A. (2006): “Corporate Social Responsibility in Italy: State of
the art”, Journal of Business Strategies, Vol. 23, Nº 1, pp. 65-91.
[21] Retolaza, J.L. & Ruiz, M. (2005): “Políticas de género en la economía solidaria”, Lan
Harremanak, nº 13, pp. 119-132.
[22] Retolaza, J.L.; Mugarra, A. & Enciso, M. (2004) “Solidarity-based enterprises: new concept for
the enterprise of the future”; ICA Research Forum. Segorbe, 6-9 de Mayo.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

[23] Sichar, G. (2003): “La empresa socialmente responsable”; Ed. CIDEAL. Madrid
[24] Simcic, P. & Belliu, A. (2002): “Corporate social responsibility and cause-related marketing:
and overview”, International Journal of Advertising, Nº 20, pp. 207-222.
[25] Smith, C. (1994): “The new corporate philanthropy”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 72, Nº 3,
pp. 105 –116.
[26] Vidal, I. & Claver, N. (2005): “Work integration Social enterprises in Spain”, Working Paper
no., 04/05 en wwwmemes.net.
[27] Vidal, I. (2005): “Social Enterprise and Social Inclusion: Social enterprises in the Sphere of
Work Integration”, Intl Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 28, pp. 807-825.
[28] Wood, D.J. (1991): “Corporate Social Performance revisited”, Academy of Management, Nº 16,
pp. 691-718.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Spatial Durbin Model for Poverty Mapping and Analysis

Atinuke Adebanji
Department of Statistics, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, 11001, Nigeria
E-mail: tinuadebanji@yahoo.com

Thomas Achia
School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi, Kenya
E-mail: achia@unobi.ac.ke

Richard Ngetich
Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Livelihoods, United Nations Development Programme
E-mail: richardngetich@undp.org

John Owino
School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
E-mail: owino@unobi.ac.ke

Anne Wangombe
School of Mathematics, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
E-mail: awachira@unobi.ac.ke

The use of spatial regression models for describing and explaining spatial data variation in
poverty mapping has become an increasingly important tool. This study considered the
spatial Durbin model (SDM) in identifying possible causes of poverty in Bari region of
Somalia using Somalia settlement census data. Data properties were identified using
exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) and the output ESDA provided input into the
spatial Durbin model. Parameter estimation and hypotheses testing and assessment of
goodness of fit were carried out for the specified model. Dissimilarity of neighbouring
settlements in North West Somalia and similarity of neighbouring settlements in North East
and South Central Somalia with respect to the variables of interest were observed using the
Global and Local Moran's I test statistic. The proportion of families who cannot afford two
meals per day was taken as a proxy indicator for poverty level and the implication of the
findings on policy decision making for development planning are discussed.

Keywords: spatial regression, spatial Durbin model, poverty

2000 Mathematics Subject Classification Codes: 62M30, 62D05, 62J12

1. Introduction
Poverty mapping, defined as the spatial representation and analysis of indicators of human wellbeing
and poverty, is becoming an increasingly important instrument for investigating and discussing social,
economic, and environmental problems with the aim of arriving at possible solutions. This is essential
to enable identification of the poor and consequently determinants of poverty. This will ensure
evidence based decision making for better policy formulation and targeting of development assistance

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

including humanitarian relief. For relief efforts to be effective, the poor communities have to be
identified and their specific locations determined.
Poverty studies often do not take into account the geographical components and environmental
data that may have important impact on research results. There is often a concentration of poverty in
environmentally fragile ecological zones where communities face and contribute to different kinds of
environmental degradation. The poor households also have circumstances in common such as road
facilities, availability of public facilities such as health, water supply and education. Methods which
use spatial analysis tools are required to explore such spatial dimensions of poverty and its linkages
with environmental conditions [1].
There has been a recent increase in the use of maps to display the geographic distribution of
poverty and consequent formulation of policies and plans for alleviating poverty and allocating
development resources. For the most part, data used to develop these maps have been obtained from
econometric models which do not take into account the spatial dependence of data. The use of poverty
maps alone does not provide information on the causal linkage between poverty and the variables that
influence it. There is therefore an increasing realization that statistical spatial analysis models are
required to explore spatial dimensions of poverty and possible empirical relationship between poverty
and socio-economic indicators. Spatial regression techniques are beginning to become part of the
toolbox of applied econometrics [4].
The study by [14] showed the statistical significance of environmental variables in estimation
of poverty. This suggested the existence of poverty-environment relationship and hence the role of
environmental factors in the livelihood of the poor and the potential impact of poverty reduction
efforts. They therefore recommended that environmental indicators could form an important part in the
design and evaluation of poverty reduction strategies and hence should always be included in the
statistical analysis.
It was shown by [11] that spatial autocorrelation influences the model selection. A revisit of an
earlier analysis of plant distribution data and environmental covariates from Germany using spatial
autoregressive models and results showed that spatial autocorrelation influences the model selection.
He further stated that the findings from using the simultaneous autoregressive error model were
consistent with ecological theories and previous observations. Out of the spatial models only the error
model (ESAR) with a neighbourhood of up to two cells was able to reduce autocorrelation to an
insignificant level, and this also provided the best fit out of all the models considered (as measured by
Akaike’s Information Criterion, AIC).

2. Generalized Spatial Linear Models

Spatial dependence may arise when we deal with located observations because of measurement errors
for observations or because some unobserved economic and social phenomena present a spatial
structure leading to complex interactions. For this purpose, spatial analysis is applied to poverty data in
Bari region of Somalia to determine the effect of geo-sociological variables on the incidence and
intensity of poverty in these regions. This is based on the assumption of the presence of spatial
dependency and spatial heterogeneity among the measured geographic variables.
Therefore, the analysis used an estimation approach which incorporates explicitly spatial
dependence through the inclusion of the spatially lagged dependent and independent variables. The
maximum likelihood estimation of the resulting model called a spatial Durbin model (SDM) allows us
to demonstrate the existence of geographical spillovers among the settlements in Somalia as the
number of those not affording two meals per day in each settlement depends not only on the values of
its own independent variables, but also on the average values of the dependent and independent
variables in the neighboring settlements. In this study, the number of families who cannot afford two
meals per day in each settlement is set as the poverty baseline.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Regression models specify a functional relationship between a response variable ( Y ) and k

explanatory variables ( X 1 ,..., X k ). The standard regression model specifies a functional relationship
between y i , (the response variable measured at site i ) and x1i ,..., xki (the explanatory variables
measured at site i ), hence we have
y i = β o + β1 x1i + ... + β k xki + ε i , (1)
where β o ,..., β k are regression coefficients and ε refers to the error or disturbance term. In this
classic regression specification, the error terms have mean zero ( E[ε i ] = 0, for all i ) and they are
identically and independently distributed. Consequently, the model is taken to be homoskedastic and
devoid of serial correlation. In matrix notation (1) can be written as
y = Xβ + ε, (2)
where X is an (n × (k + 1)) matrix of observations on the k explanatory variables, y and ε are n × 1
vectors and β is a (k × 1) vector. The error terms have mean zero E[ε ] = 0 and E[εε T ] = H I (where

I is the identity matrix).

The state of a system consisting of n areas at time t is defined as
yt = ( y1t ,..., ynt ), (3)
where yit is the value of attribute y at location i at time t.
A spatial process is where changes of state are due to spatial properties of the attribute and (3)
therefore becomes
y i , t +1 = f ({ y jt } { }
, y j , t −1 ), (4)
jε N ( i ) jε N ( i )

where N( i ) specifies the areas adjacent to i . Spatial and temporal dependencies might extend
over many lags and assume many functional forms ( f ) [10].
Spatial dependency is introduced into (4) in two major ways, spatial lag dependence and spatial
error dependence [8]. In such instances, the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) estimation in spatial process
models has limitations. Spatial dependence between observations leads to inefficient OLS estimators
and unreliable statistical inference.
The two alternative forms of spatial dependence models are the spatial lag model and the
spatial error model (both of which are simultaneous autoregressive models (SAR)).
The lagged model corrects for the autocorrelation of the response variable. A spatial lag model
is a formal representation of the equilibrium outcome of processes of social and spatial interaction. A
function of the dependent variable observed at other locations is included in the model to give
y i = g ( yJi ,θ ) + X iT β + ε i , (5)
where J i includes all the neighbouring locations j of i , with j =/ i (the neighbour relation is
symmetric). The function g can be very general (and non-linear), but typically is simplified by using a
spatial weights matrix. The spatial weights matrix is an n × n positive matrix, W, through which the
neighborhood set’s specified for each observation. A location (settlement) appears both as row and
column, with non-zero matrix elements w ij indicating a neighbor relation between observation (row) i
and (column) j . Self-neighbors are excluded, such that the diagonal elements w ij =0. Also, the
weights matrix is often used in row-standardized form, with weights w ijs = ij
to facilitate the
∑ j wij
interpretation of the weights as constructing an average of the neighboring values in the so-called
spatial lag operator, ∑ j wij z j [4].
The mixed regressive, spatial autoregressive model then takes on the form

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
y i = ρ ∑wij yi + X iT β + ε i , (6)

where ρ is the spatial autoregressive coefficient, and the error term 2i is identically and independently
distributed. In matrix notation (6) can be written as
y = ρWy + X β + ε , (7)
with a row standardized spatial weights matrix. This added variable is referred to as a spatially lagged
dependent variable, or spatial lag. The resulting endogeneity must be accounted for in the estimation
process. The proper solution to the equations for all observations is the reduced form, which no longer
contains any spatially lagged dependent variables on the right hand side [8].
A model that is nonlinear in ρ and β and has a spatially correlated error structure is given by
y = ( I − ρW ) −1 X β + ( I − ρW )−1 ε . (8)
More importantly, this reveals the spatial multiplier, i.e., the notion that the value of y at any
location i is not only determined by the values of x at i , but also of x at all other locations in the
In spatial error models (SEM), the spatial autocorrelation does not enter as an additional
variable in the model, but instead affects the covariance structure of the random disturbance terms. The
typical motivation for this is that unmodeled effects spill over across units of observation and hence
result in spatially correlated errors [9].
Spatial error autocorrelation is a special case of a non-spherical error covariance matrix, in
which the off-diagonal elements are non-zero, i.e., E[ε i ε j ] =/ 0, for i =/ j . Hence, it is necessary to
impose structure and to obtain estimates from a more parsimonious specification. Given (2) and an
error term defined as ε = ρWε + u , the SEM is given as
y = X β + ( I n − ρW ) −1 u (9)
The spatial Durbin model is a mixed autoregressive model. It considers spatial autocorrelation
in both error and response variable and is a specification test on the common factor hypothesis. It
exploits the property that a spatial error model can also be specified in spatial lag form, with spatially
lagged explanatory variables included, but with constraints on the parameters (the common factor
constraints) [5]. The model defined in (8) can be extended to spatial Durbin model (SDM), that allows
for explanatory variables from neighboring observations, created by WX . The equation
( I n − ρW ) y = X β + WX γ + ε . (10)
simplifies to
y = ( I − ρW ) −1 X β + ( I − ρW )−1WX γ + ( I − ρW ) −1 ε (11)
when y is specified. The k × 1 parameter vector / measures the marginal impact of the explanatory
variables from neighboring observations on the dependent variable y . Multiplying X by W produces
spatial lags" of the explanatory variables that reflect an average of the neighboring observations [12].
W in this study is constructed so that the five nearest neighbors are allowed to influence each other.
A positive measure of the spatial autocorrelation implies similar values tend to be near each
other while a negative value implies the converse. This assesses the spatial dependency or the
similarity or dissimilarity of neighboring settlements within certain distance (d). Global Moran's I
indicates the significance of the similarity or dissimilarity of neighboring settlements for the whole of
Somalia (that is, shows the extent of clustering). The local Moran's I [3] indicates the location of
similar or dissimilar neighborhoods and the strength of the similarity of a settlement with it's
neighbours. GoeDa a spatial data analysis package and R-language were used to compute both Global
and Local Moran's I.
The Moran's I statistic for regression is defined as follows:

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Let ( X 1 ,..., X N ) be observations from N sites. When the statistic is approximately zero then
the observed values are random and independent over space Petrucci, [14].
eT We / S0
I= T (12)
e e/n
where e is an n × 1 vector of OLS residuals y − Xβ , W is a spatial weights matrix, and S 0 = ∑i ∑ j wij ,
a normalizing factor. Inference in a test against spatial autocorrelation is based on a normal
approximation, using a standardized value, or z-value.

3. Model Selection
Model selection criteria enables the estimation of the performance of different models in order to
choose the best one. Some of the existing criteria are R 2 , adjusted R 2 , Mallow's C p , Akaike's
Information Criterion (AIC), Schwarz's Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC) and New Continuity
Information Criterion (CIC). In the study, the AIC and BIC were used as the model selection criteria.
The AIC statistic given as AIC = −2 log L + 2mk is an estimate of the expected entropy. It
penalizes the log likelihood by the total number of parameters required for model estimation by adding
two times the number of degrees of freedom. Despite the problems associated with the application of
this criterion, it still constitutes the standard in model selection criteria.
The BIC statistic on the other hand, given as BIC = −2(log Lig ) + log Nd , is applicable in
settings where the fitting is carried out by maximization of a log-likelihood. BIC tends to penalize
complex models more heavily, giving preference to simpler models in selection [17]. Lower BIC
implies higher posterior probability of the model.

4. The Data
The data set contains information on several attributes from 5781 settlements distributed across
Somalia. The information was obtained through a census of settlements in Somalia during the period
2005 to 2006. Over 400 explanatory variables were collected in each settlement and used to explain the
proportion of families in the settlement living on less than two meals per day. For this study data from
one of the 18 regions (Bari) with 1206 settlements was analyzed. A few of the variables included in the
model are given in Table 1.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 1: Description of contents of the data

Field Description
RTE1 proportion of families in the settlement living on less than two meals per day
RECD Region code
IDCD Region and district code
LATI Y Coordinate
LONG X Coordinate
SETT Type of settlement
LVHD livelihood nature of settlement
SFOD Main source of family food ranked 1st
SINC Main source of family cash income ranked 1st
HZDS Main hazards and risks ranked 1st
ECON Economic characteristics of the poor ranked 1st
SOCL Social characteristics of the poor ranked 1st
CDEV Constraints to development ranked 1st
WATW Presence of main source of water during wet season(1 Available, 2 Not Available)
WATD Presence of main source of water during dry season (1 Available, 2 Not Available)
NUMB Number of families, which cannot afford to have two full meals per day
ROAD Motorable road in settlement (1 Available, 2 Not Available)
LDMN Presence of landmines in settlement(1 Available, 2 Not Available)
HSEC Current human security(1 good,2 average,3 poor,4 don't know)
AVHH Average household numbers
HPAV Health Post facilities

Somalia is situated in the north east of Africa (Horn of Africa). It is bordered by Kenya and
Ethiopia on the west, Kenya to the south, Indian Ocean on its east and Gulf of Aden to its northern
side. The total land area is estimated to be 638,000 square kilometers, 13 percent of which is arable
land [13]. There are 18 administrative regions based on pre-war boundaries and each of the regions is
divided into four administrative districts on average. Decades of conflicts and persistent high levels of
both income and human poverty has left about 43 percent of Somalis living on less than USD 1 per day
and 73 percent live on less than USD 2 per day [18]. There is also a sectoral disparity in the population
living in extreme poverty, with the rural sector accounting for 54 percent and the urban sector accounts
for 24 percent. Somalia is ranked as 161 out of 163 poor countries based on the human development
index. Income inequality is significant in Somalia, with household surveys suggesting that the poorest
10 percent of the population receives only 1.5 percent of the total income generated in Somalia,
whereas the top 10 of the population receive 35.6 percent of the total income [15].
Somalia scores well below average on most social indicators. Only 29 percent of people have
access to clean water (53 percent in urban and 4 percent in rural areas) and a mere 26 percent of
Somalis have access to improved sanitation. Primary school enrollment stands at 22 percent, which
ranks among the lowest in the world. Health indicators are among the worst in the world, with under-
five and maternal mortality at a staggering 22.4 percent and 16 women per 1,000 live births,
respectively [15]. There are three settlement types; independent, main and satellite. Livelihood nature
of the settlement has six types: farming, agro-pastoralists, pastoralists, fishing, business and trade and
the last category for any other nature of livelihood.
No prior effort to map poverty data of Somalia, either with the aid of regional, district and
settlement disaggregated poverty maps or use of spatial regression models. In this study, we
demonstrate the potential use of poverty maps derived from statistical analysis in the formulation of
pro-poor policy planning and interventions in poverty-alleviation programs in Somalia. Also, to
ascertain if the persistent conflict coupled with recurrent long drought spells situation has caused
clustering of communities and to determine the principal factors contributing to poverty in

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

5. Exploratory data analysis

Figure 1 shows the distribution of the response variable for Bari region. It is shown to be positively
skewed. Analysis was carried out without data transformation because the spatial Durbin model is
robust in handling asymmetric data.

Figure 1: Distribution of the response variable for Bari region

Histogram of RTE1


0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0


The LISA Box Plot

The boxplot in Figure 1 confirms the skewed distribution and outliers of the response variable.

Figure 2: Local Moran’s I box plot

The LISA scatter diagram

The scatter plot in Figure 2 shows positive spatial autocorrelation. Moran's I statistic value of 0.38
shows that there is similarity in the five nearest neighboring settlements of Somalia as a whole. Most of
the settlements are also within the second and the fourth quadrant. Settlements falling within the fourth
quadrant have low proportions of the poor and are surrounded by settlements with low proportions of
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

the poor. Settlements in the first are those with low poverty surrounded by settlements with high
poverty while those in the third quadrant are settlements with high poverty surrounded by settlements
with low poverty.

Figure 3: Lisa scatter diagram

The Local Moran's I cluster map

The map in Figure 3 shows a clustering of settlements with high levels of poverty (indicated by the red
dots in the north-east and south-west). The blue dots (in the south-central) indicate the clustering of
settlements with low levels poverty. The orange dots shows settlements with high poverty surrounded
by settlements with low poverty and the pale blue colour shows settlements with low poverty
surrounded by settlements with high poverty.

Figure 4: Local Moran’s I cluster

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

6. Spatial Analysis of Settlement data

The results of the Moran's I test for residual spatial autocorrelation for the whole of Somalia is
presented in Table 2.

Table 2: Moran's I Statistic for Somalia selected regions

Region Statistic
Somalia 0.3754
Awdal -0.0354
Togdheer 0.0129
Bari 0.2231
Bay 0.2200
Lower Shabelle 0.1768

This study finds minimal spatial autocorrelation of data from North West of Somalia (See Table
2). Spatial autocorrelation however exists in North East and South Central Somalia. One explanation
could be the proximity of settlements to each other which is much more in South Central Somalia than
in North West. However further research needs to undertaken to establish possible explanations.
Somalia as a whole indicates spatial autocorrelation of data.
The full model contained all the variables indicated in Table 1. The Akaike's information
criterion (AIC) was applied to each of these variables one at a time. The variable that reduced the value
of AIC the most in the first step was included in the model together with each of the remaining
variables separately resulting in several models. A subset of the output is presented in Table 3.

Table 3: Model selection through an AIC and BIC process for Bari region

Variables in the model AIC BIC

All 1.278 352.570
SETT -28.677 -6.523
LVHD -21.534 19.608
SFOD -11.460 29.682
SINC -6.387 53.744
WATW -14.463 1.361
ROAD -20.619 -4.795
SETT+LVHD -29.929 23.872
SETT+SFOD -21.019 32.783
SETT+SINC -18.988 53.802
SETT+WATW -25.753 2.730

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)
Table 4: Table of Effects for Bari region

95% CI p-value
Estimate Std. Error
SETT1 Reference
Settlement type SETT2 0.002 0.052 -0.100 0.155 0.967
SETT4 0.121 0.052 0.019 0.154 0.020
LVHD1 Reference
LVHD2 0.137 0.071 -0.001 0.209 0.052
LVHD3 0.197 0.066 0.068 0.196 0.003
LVHD4 0.202 0.082 0.042 0.241 0.013
LVHD5 -0.046 0.111 -0.264 0.328 0.675
LVHD6 0.033 0.115 -0.193 0.341 0.773
ROAD1 Reference
ROAD2 -0.040 0.049 -0.136 0.145 0.409

The parameter estimates in Table 4 show the significant association of poverty with various
settlement attributes, namely; type, main source of family food and income, main hazards or risks
faced by the population, presence of land mines, social and economic characteristics and constraints to
development. Adjusting for the settlement type, livelihood nature of the settlement and availability of
road through the settlement, there are significant differences between independent settlement and
satellite settlement. Satellite settlements are more likely to have high levels of poverty by about 10%
compared to communities residing in independent settlements.
Further, adjusting for the settlement type, livelihood nature and availability of road through the
settlement, there are significant differences between those communities whose livelihood nature is
farming and those whose livelihood nature is pastoralist and fishing. Communities whose main
livelihood nature is pastoralist and fishing are both more likely to be have high poverty levels by 20%
than communities whose main livelihood nature is farming.

7. Discussion and summary

The local indicator spatial autocorrelation (LISA) cluster map reveals that poor communities are
mainly located and clustered to the north east and south of Somalia while the less poor are located and
clustered in the south central part. The spatial regression analysis for Bari region pastoralist
communities as the most vulnerable with the addition of fishing communities in Bari region. The
settlement type, particularly those communities residing in satellite settlements are significantly
associated with high levels of poverty. This could be explained by the fact that most satellite
settlements lack essential services and opportunities which are found in main settlements.
Secure environments are normally associated with low levels of poverty and Bari region seems
to be enjoying relatively good security status as suggested by the results of this study. This confirms
the usual view that secure communities are less vulnerable to incidence of poverty possibly because
they are able to move about freely and engage in various socio-economic activities.
We would like to recommend that policy decision making and planning for development and
humanitarian relief should to take into account the various settlement characteristics influencing
poverty levels. In Bari region communities whose main source of family food is gifts and zakat are the
most vulnerable to poverty as seen by the high chance (35% and 70%) of these settlements having high
poverty incidences.
However, further research is needed on the accessibility to road network in Bari region. It is
significantly associated with high poverty for the neighbouring settlements only and not the referenced
settlement. The exact nature of its contribution to high levels of poverty needs to be established. In this
study only the linear relation was explored. Poverty is multi-dimensional and the factors that influence
it might not be captured by the model used in this study. Further reserach could be carried out using
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

generalized linear spatial models and Bayesian spatial statistical methods which were outside the scope
of this study. The robustness of SDM needs to be further investigated using among other methods, a
Matrix Exponential Spatial Structure (MESS). Results from these models can then be compared with
those obtained from this study.

[1] Alesandra, P., Salvati, N. and Seghieri, C., (2004).Autologistic Regression Model for Poverty
Mapping and Analysis, Medolosksi Zvezki, vol 1, no.1 pp. 225-234.
[2] Amarasinghe, U., Samad, M. and Anputhas, M., (2005) Locating the poor; Spatially
disaggregated poverty maps for Srilanka, Research Report 96. Colombo, Sri Lanka:
International Water Management Institute.
[3] Anselin, L. (1999). Spatial Econometrics. Bruton Center, School of Social Sciences, University
of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX 75083.
[4] Anselin, L. (2002). Under the hood, Issues in the specification and interpretation of the spatial
regression models. Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) and Department of
Agricultural and consumer Economics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
[5] Anselin, L., (2003). An Introduction to Spatial Regression Analysis in R. University of Illinois,
[6] Anselin, L., (2005a). Exploring Spatial Data with GeoDa; A Workbook. Spatial Analysis
Laboratory, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL 61801.
[7] Anselin, L., (2005b). Spatial Regression Analysis in R; A Workbook. Spatial Analysis
Laboratory, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL 61801.
[8] Anselin, L., (2006a). Spatial Regression. Spatial Analysis Laboratory, Department of
Geography and National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois,
Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801.
[9] Anselin, L.; Syabri, I.; and Kho, Y. (2006b). GeoDa : An Introduction to Spatial Data Analysis
[10] Haining, R.P.(1990). Spatial Data Analysis in the Social and Environmental Sciences.
[11] Kuhn, I.(2007). Incorporating spatial autocorrelation may invert observed patterns. Diversity
and Distribution, 13, 66-69, journal compilation, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
[12] LeSage J. P., (2004). Lecture Notes on; Maximum likelihood estimation of spatial regression
models. Department of Economics, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606.
[13] MoNP (1984). Analytical Volume, Census of Population of Somalia 1975, Ministry of National
Planning, Central Statistical Department
[14] Petrucci, A., Salvati N. and Seghieri, C. (2003). The application of spatial regression model to
the analysis and mapping of poverty. FAO, Rome, 2003
[15] RDP (2007). Reconstruction Development Plan report for Somalia; World Bank Publication.
[16] Rodriguez, C. C. (2005). The ABC of Model Selection: AIC, BIC and the New CIC.
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Albany, Albany, New York.
[17] Sarstedt, M. (2006). Sample and segment-size specific model selection in mixture regression
analysis. Discussion paper 2006-8, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, Munich School
of Management.
[18] UNDP/World Bank, (2002). Socio-economic survey 2002, Somalia.

European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

Health Equity and the Monetization of

Workers Health Benefits in Nigeria

M.A.Y. Rahji
Department of Agricultural Economics,University of Ibadan, Nigeria
E-mail: mayrahji@yahoo.com
Tel: 2348023416267

F.R. Rahji
Department of Nursing, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

The study used a public institution to evaluate the policy of monetization of workers health
benefits vis-à-vis the old system of health expenses re-imbursement. The policy gives 10
per cent of a workers basic annual salary as health benefits for a family of six. For all the
workers, ANOVA results show inequality in the distribution of benefits. The lower the
group’s position on the salary level, the smaller is the average health status of members of
households. For workers on levels 01-06, the largest mean value of their health allowance
of N 236 per household member per month is less than US$2. For those on levels 07-09,
the highest mean value is about N 414. This is less than US$3 per member per month.
Those on salary levels 10-12 have the largest mean value of N 577 which is less than
US$4.5 per household member a month. For the level of 13-15 the per month allowance is
less than US$5.5 at N 798. The study results also indicate that the junior and middle cadres
workers tend to prefer the old system of health expenses re-imbursement policy while the
senior cadres prefer the monetization policy. Whichever way it is viewed, the new health
policy tends to imply the privatizations of the health delivery system in Nigeria. Thushealth
delivery care has been placed under the hammer of privatization of services. The study
therefore recommendsthat government should enhance and advance health equity. As once
the workers are paid, they are on their own.

Keywords: Health equity, public institution, monetization policy, workers, Nigeria.

Health security is increasingly being recognized as integral to any poverty reduction strategy (Jutting,
2004). However there has been a shift of focus to social risk management though poverty reduction
remains of central concern. This is because of the role risk plays in the life of the poor (Holzmann and
Jorgenson, 2000). Health risks post the greatest threat to their lives and livelihoods. For the poor
households, labour (time) is the dominant household resource which must be allocated to several
competing activities including market, non-market activities and leisure. Hence, a health shock leads to
direct expenditure for medicine, transport and treatment (Jutting, 2004). It also leads to indirect costs
related to a reduction in labour supply and productivity (Asfaw, 2003). A strong link is known to exist
between health and income at low-income levels. Hence, a health shock affects the poor the most
(CMH, 2001; Morrisson, 2002).
The poor state of the Nigerian health facilities is a frequent topic in newspaper articles, public
debates and discussions (Gureje, 2005). According to Lucas (2005), the Nigerian health system is sick,
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 5, Number 4 (2008)

very sick and in urgent need of intensive care. It is blind, lacking in vision of its goals and strategies; it
is deaf, failing to respond to the cries of the sick and dying; and it is impotent, seemingly incapable of
doing things that neighboring states have mastered. The current uncoordinated approach to solving the
nation’s health problems must give way to a workable and equity-enhancing system.
In the context of this study, the health system is conceptualized in line with W.H.O (2000); as
embodying the actors and activities whose primary purpose is to promote, restore, or maintain health.
The health system in Nigeria can be categorized mainly into two. These are: the traditional health care
and the orthodox/conventional medical care. The orthodox system is provided by both the private and
public health services. In Nigeria, there is already a widespread consultation of trado-medical care by a
large proportion of the population. There is thus a gradual reduction in the utilization of orthodox care
by those who cannot afford to pay.
The focus of this study is the public health delivery/provision system as embedded in the
employment status of workers. To this end, the economy of Nigeria can be segmented into formal and
informal labour sectors. The formal labour segment is conceptualized as that portion of the labour force
employed by the public and private sectors in which their conditions of service include the provision o